Yemen accuses Iran of prolonging war

Cairo: The Yemeni government has accused Iran, a supporter of Al Houthi rebels, of adopting a “negative stance” towards a recent Saudi proposal to end war in Yemen.

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On Monday, Saudi Arabia launched the peace initiative, proposing a UN-overseen nationwide ceasefire in Yemen, the reopening of Sana’a airport in the Al Houthi-held capital, and restarting negotiations between the Saudi-backed government and the Iran-allied rebels. The Yemeni government welcomed the initiative.

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Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awwad said that the Iranian reaction aims at prolonging the Yemeni crisis to sap the region’s countries.

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The official made the remarks during a phone call he received from the British Minister of State for Middle East James Cleverly with whom he discussed the political, military and humanitarian developments in Yemen, the Yemeni news agency Saba reported.

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Humanitarian situation

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Awwad said that the Yemeni government had allowed a number of ships loaded with oil products to enter the Al Houthi-controlled Hodeidah port despite the rebels’ failure to comply with a 2018 UN-brokered peace accord for the coastal province and their plundering of customs revenues to pay employees in areas under their control.

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“The legitimate government will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation and do its duty to ease suffering of its citizens,” the official said.

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Yemen has been devastated by a war that erupted after Al Houthi militia toppled the legitimate government and seized swathes of the country including Sana’a in late 2014.

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In 2015, Saudi Arabia led an Arab military campaign in Yemen against the rebels in response to a request from the impoverished country’s government.

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