Reports & News

Thu - 14 Mar 2019 - 12:46 AM ،،،

aawsat


 The United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors on Wednesday in an attempt to save the Sweden agreement on Yemen from collapse.

The UN-brokered agreement was reached between the legitimate government and Iran-backed Houthi militias in December. Nearly a month ago, the two sides agreed to begin a redeployment of forces in the port city of Hodeidah, but the Houthis have stalled in respecting their commitments, threatening the collapse of the deal.

Details of a two-stage pullback from Hodeidah city and its ports were finalized during a meeting on February 17, marking the first concrete step toward de-escalation.

UN envoy Martin Griffiths told the council that he was "still working with the parties to make the redeployment in Hodeidah a reality," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

UN diplomats said the Houthis were refusing to pull away from the ports of Saleef and Ras Issa as agreed as part of the first stage.

"It's clear that one party has more problems than the other at the moment," British Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters after the meeting.

France's Foreign Minister Francois Delattre, the current council president, told reporters after Wednesday's meeting that his report was "not good."

Belgium's UN Ambassador Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve was blunter, telling reporters: "At this point of time there is no progress so the council might do something."

Responding to a question on whether the agreement was unraveling, Dujarric said, "I would not use the term unraveling. I think patience and determination are really the name of the game."

"No one expected this to be easy," Dujarric said.

Germany's UN Ambassador Christoph Heusgen said that at the council meeting "there was frustration that we haven't made more progress."

General Michael Lollesgaard, who also briefed the council as head of a newly-created UN mission to monitor the redeployment from Hodeidah, will continue to press for action on the ground, diplomats said.

The council will meet again on Tuesday to take stock and consider next steps if no progress is made.

Ahead of the council meeting, Griffiths met with ambassadors of permanent council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

On Tuesday, the ambassadors of the P5 in Yemen said they were "extremely concerned" that agreements reached in Stockholm had not been implemented and expressed support for UN efforts to "secure the earliest possible implementation of the arrangements" for redeploying forces from the ports and city of Hodeidah.

The ambassadors said in a joint statement that the pullback should begin "without further delay and without seeking to exploit the redeployments by the other side."