Houthis stand in the way of Yemen peace: paper

ABU DHABI, 12th October, 2016 (WAM) — The firing of missiles towards an American warship in the Red Sea from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen is another blatant example of the one inescapable fact of the conflict: only one side genuinely wants peace, said The National in an editorial today.

The attack on the USS Mason destroyer on Monday has been rightly condemned by the UAE Government. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said, the attack “amounts to a terrorist act that endangers international navigation and confirms the continuous escalation by these militias to evade a political solution to the Yemeni crisis”.

The attack comes just a week after a UAE civilian vessel was fired on by Houthi militia near the entrance of Bab Al Mandeb, the strait, between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. It means that there are now genuine fears for the safety of all vessels; naval, commercial and passenger, that ply one of the world’s busiest and most important waterways.

The newspaper went on to say that the pathway to peace is through talks aimed at a political solution. In Yemen, there can be no peace when one party is being deliberately obstructionist, as the Houthis have proven to be again and again. With assistance from Iran and in concert with forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Houthis have blocked all roads to peace. They continue to lay siege to Yemen, creating death and misery for the civilian population.

Fighting has also cost the lives of many members of the Saudi-led coalition who are supporting the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The coalition forces and the governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council, plus many other members of the international community, have demonstrated their commitment to a political settlement, while the Houthis and their supporters have not.

That they are now firing at maritime traffic is a disturbing development. Rather than come to the table, they are doubling up on their aggression, imperilling even more innocent lives.

The priority for the UAE has always been to re-establish stability in Yemen for the benefit of the Yemeni people. Their right to live in a peaceful and stable society should be first and foremost. The UAE and others have provided, and will continue to provide, humanitarian aid. But the time is overdue for the Houthis to put down their weapons and come to the table.