In conjunction with the escalation of indications of a return to military escalation between Sanaa and the Saudi-Emirati coalition, the United Nations and European Union countries intensified their diplomatic efforts to save the truce from collapse.
However, the series of meetings led by the head of the European Union delegation, Gabriel Munoaira Viñales, and ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of 17 European countries, to the government loyal to the “coalition”, during the past two days, did not come out with positive results that would revive the peace process.
The president of the “presidential council” loyal to the “coalition”, Rashad Al-Alimi, ignored the response to the European delegation’s demands regarding the detention of fuel ships and preventing their access to the port of Hodeida, and contented himself with talking about the risks and threats resulting from the military parade that the coastal city witnessed last week, considering the Sanaa parade with missiles and naval mines threatens the security of the Red Sea and international navigation.
Al-Alimi did not show any willingness to push the peace path forward, but rather talked about the three peace references represented in the Gulf Initiative and the “Peace and Partnership Agreement” signed between the Yemeni parties in late 2014, and International Resolution 2216, which legitimized the aggression against Yemen and placed the country under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.
In an interview with the Lebanese “Al-Akhbar” newspaper, Yemeni political sources believe that Al-Alimi’s position “is an escape from the implementation of the entitlements of the armistice, and an indication that the Saudi-Emirati aggression coalition wants to return to the option of war,” especially since what was reported by the official “Saba” agency in its version of the pro-Riyadh government, about the meeting, has nothing to do with peace.
What reinforces these indications is that the “coalition” began arrangements of a military nature more than a week ago, which was represented in a high-ranking military meeting that included the commander of the “joint forces” and the deputy staff of the Saudi army, Lieutenant-General Mutlaq Al-Azima, and the commander of the Emirati forces in Yemen, Muhammad Al-Ameri, followed by summoning Al-Alimi from the headquarters of his residency in Riyadh to the headquarters of the “coalition forces”, late last week. In addition to the above, the Chief of Staff of the forces affiliated with the government loyal to the “coalition” from Marib, Lieutenant-General Saghir bin Aziz, was summoned to Riyadh.
Sanaa hinted at military action if the seized fuel ships are not released
On the other hand, Sanaa hinted, through the President of the Supreme Political Council, Mahdi al-Mashat, that it might take military action if the detained fuel ships were not released.
In a meeting with the Minister of Defense in the “Salvation” government, Major General Muhammad Nasser Al-Atifi, Al-Mashat saw that “the existing data before the aggression coalition made it imperative for it to release the detained ships, and to stop detaining them and piracy on them,” stressing also the need to pay the salaries of state employees, and restore the looted gas and oil resources, stressing that “the Yemeni people are now able to extract their legitimate rights.”
According to what was reported by the army newspaper in Sanaa, Al-Atifi affirmed, for his part, that “the armed forces are fully prepared and ready to implement any directives, whether with regard to the aggression coalition’s violation of the terms of the armistice, or the comprehensive confrontation with the aggression coalition to liberate every inch of the homeland.”
Meanwhile, as part of attempts to revive the truce, the UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, last Saturday resorted to Iran to mediate with Sanaa, but the latter’s response came through the head of its negotiating delegation, Muhammad Abdulsalam, who confirmed, during a telephone conversation with senior chief aide of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Ali Asghar Khaji, said that the ceasefire is contingent on the other side fulfilling its obligations to end the siege and pay the salaries of state employees.
*Source: Lebanese “Al-Akhbar” newspaper.