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UK envoy: 'Houthis want to achieve gains before engaging in ceasefire'

Yemeni protesters who are loyal to the Houthi group participate in a rally against the announcement of the diplomatic normalisation between Israel and the United Arab Emarite on 22 August 2020 in Sana'a, Yemen [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]
Yemeni protesters who are loyal to the Houthi group participate in a rally against the announcement of the diplomatic normalisation between Israel and the United Arab Emarite on 22 August 2020 in Sana'a, Yemen [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]

British Ambassador to Yemen Michael Aron has announced that the Houthis are trying to achieve gains on the ground before engaging in a ceasefire.

Asharq Al-Awsat quoted Aron stating that the Houthis: "Are trying to make progress ahead of the peace efforts of the international community. They are intimidated by the ceasefire and want to achieve gains on the ground before adhering to it. Undoubtedly, this is a very bad thing and we do not need that."

He stressed that his country believes that Iran plays a negative role in Yemen through financing and arming the Houthis.

Aron noted that the Houthis believe that their victory in Marib will be decisive in ending the war in their favour.

READ: Houthis bomb refugee camp west of Marib, Yemen government says

According to the British ambassador, starting direct or semi-direct negotiations between the Yemeni parties to end the conflict is the best option to alleviate the suffering of the Yemenis.

Since the beginning of February, the Houthi militia has intensified its attacks, launching a large military operation in the Marib governorate, and has increased missile and booby-trapped drone attacks against Saudi Arabia, in an escalation that accompanied moves made by the US and the international community towards ending the war in the country.

 

Observers believe that the recent Houthi escalation in Yemen and the Saudi territory is motivated by the desire to achieve gains on the ground before the "hypothetical" success of the recent peace efforts in implementing a comprehensive ceasefire in the country.

On 4 February, US President Joe Biden announced appointing Tim Lenderking as the US envoy to Yemen, in an initial step to end the ongoing conflict

Last Wednesday, Lenderking started his mission with a visit to Riyadh, during which he met with Yemeni and Saudi officials and UN envoy Martin Griffiths.

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