Tue - 16 May 2023 - 02:03 AM ،،،

 British Ambassador to Yemen Richard Oppenheim stressed that his country was prepared to play its role at the United Nations Security Council to support peace in Yemen.

In an interview to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said London was ready to back any new resolution on a comprehensive political settlement reached by Yemeni parties.

The Security Council would need to issue a new resolution to ratify any political settlement that is accepted by all parties, he added.

The council has always sought to support the parties in reaching peace, he noted, citing its latest statement in backing the visit by Saudi and Omani delegations to Sanaa.

The delegations had in April met with officials from the Iran-backed Houthi militias to discuss the humanitarian situation, a prisoner swap, ceasefire and comprehensive political solution.

Oppenheim expressed the UK’s gratitude to the efforts carried out by its Saudi partners and its friends in Oman.

The ambassador said the Security Council has a number of steps that it can agree on, such as lifting sanctions, to back peace efforts before issuing a new resolution.

Any successful agreement in Yemen must include an agreement on how to manage resources, he went on to say. It must also cover long-term political issues, such as the situation in the South.

The ambassador also noted the impact of the recent Saudi-Iranian agreement to restore relations on the situation in Yemen and the region.

Now is the best opportunity for peace in Yemen since the war started, Oppenheim remarked.

The UK welcomes the Saudi-Iranian deal and anything that will help ease tensions in the region, he continued.

He added, however, that it remains to be seen whether Iran will really change its behavior.

There are several parties involved in the conflict in Yemen and the regional dynamics are a significant part of it, the ambassador told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The UK has in the past spoken of the destabilizing role Iran is playing in Yemen through its arms supplies to the Houthis, he stressed.

The United States had previously expressed its concern over Iran’s role in Yemen and questioned how committed it could be to the agreement with Saudi Arabia.

US envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking said last week that Iran was still sending weapons and drugs to the country.

Time will tell whether they will commit to their pledges and cease sending arms and advisers to Yemen, he added, while hoping that Iran would change its behavior.

Furthermore, Oppenheim remarked that the UK is playing an important role in Yemen. He said it has offered over a billion pounds in humanitarian assistance since the conflict began.

This year, it will feed over 100,000 people a month and provide life-saving health care and food assistance through 400 health care centers. It will also treat 22,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition, he revealed.

The UK is also helping in mine removal, he added, saying it was proud to work in such a vital area.