War and Blockade, Obstacles to Yemeni Peace

War and Blockade, Obstacles  to Yemeni Peace
War and Blockade, Obstacles  to Yemeni Peace

Sustaining a ceasefire in Yemen and removing the Saudi blockade against its people would pave the way for Yemeni negotiators to conclude a comprehensive agreement and restore calm to the war-ravaged country, a senior diplomat said.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the statement in a telephone conversation with United Nations special envoy on Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

They discussed the latest developments in the Yemeni conflict and the result of the latest round of intra-Yemeni talks in Switzerland, IRNA reported. Stressing the need for settling disputes in Yemen through a political process, the diplomat hailed efforts by the United Nations to mediate between the warring sides.

In mid-December, members of the Houthi Ansarullah movement and representatives of the fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi engaged in negotiations in Magglingen, northern Switzerland.

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran believes that an agreement between Yemeni groups would be in line with the security interests of Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Middle East.

"Unfortunately, Saudi military action against Yemen has only led to a less secure region," he said. "Now, dangerous and complicated terrorist networks are growing roots in South Yemen."

Cheikh Ahmed said reaching a comprehensive accord is difficult, but the atmosphere of the negotiations was positive and discussions were constructive.

Although the progress was limited, he explained that in this round of talks, the sides reached a compromise over ceasefire, prisoner exchange, mutual confidence-building measures and resumption of humanitarian assistance to conflict-stricken areas in the south of the country.

"In the next round of the talks, concluding a complete pact between Yemeni groups is possible," Cheikh Ahmed said. Yemen has been under frenzied military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March, while 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since the start of the strike.

The attacks have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools and factories.