The US ambassador to Yemen, Matthew Tueller, yesterday blamed the Houthi group for “reneging on its obligations” under the United Nations (UN)-led peace agreement over the country’s portal city of Hodeidah.
Speaking at a news conference held in the Yemeni capital of Aden, Tueller said that Houthis’ weapons pose a threat to Yemen and the countries in the region.
“The fact that there are groups that have weapons, including heavy weapons and even weapons that can threaten neighbouring countries,” Tueller warned, pointing out that the weapons in Houthis’ possession were not “under the control of the institutions of the state.”
“This is a severe danger to the region as well as to Yemen,” he reiterated.
Referring to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed forces who have been carrying out some operations in the south of Yemen, the American diplomat stressed that the US “does not support groups that seek to divide Yemen.”
The US, Tueller noted, is “greatly frustrated by the delays and stalling on the part of the Houthis in implementing what they agreed to in Sweden.” He added, however, that Washington was still having hope that the deal would be implemented by all the parties involved.
“I have great confidence in the UN envoy and what he is doing,” he said.
The US official reaffirmed that his country was willing “to work with others in order to try to implement the Sweden agreement.”
In December, the UN held peace talks in Sweden between the Iranian-aligned Houthi group and Saudi-backed Yemen government, which reached a ceasefire and troop pullout deal for Hodeidah, the entry point for most of Yemen’s commercial goods and aid supplies, and a lifeline for millions of Yemenis on the verge of starvation. The pact was the first big breakthrough in efforts to end Yemen’s four-year war.
Under the accord, the UN had hoped that millions of needy Yemenis – in a country that was said by humanitarian organisations to be “on the verge of famine.” – would receive adequate food and medical assistance.