The leader of Yemen’s Ansarullah Movement says he will not reject the United Nations’ supervisory role in Hudaydah if the Saudi-led coalition ends its weeks-long aggression against the Red Sea port city.
In an interview with French daily Le Figaro published on Tuesday, Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi said he had informed Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, about his readiness to place Hudaydah under the world body’s supervision.
“We told the UN envoy, Martin Griffiths, that we are not rejecting the role of supervision and logistics that the UN wants to hold in the port, but on the condition that the aggression against Hudaydah stops,” he said.
Backed by Saudi-led airstrikes, Emirati forces and militants loyal to Yemen’s former President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, launched the Hudaydah offensive on June 13 despite international warnings that it would compound the impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.
The Saudi-led coalition claims that the Ansarullah fighters are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an allegation rejected by the fighters.
The coalition of aggressors has, however, failed to make any major gains in Hudaydah in the face of stiff resistance from Ansarullah fighters and their allied forces.
On the diplomatic front, Griffiths has reportedly been pushing for a deal in which the Ansarullah fighters place the Hudaydha port under the supervision of a UN-monitored committee.
The UAE, however, dismisses such an arrangement, under which Hudaydah would remain under the control of the Ansarullah fighters and their allied forces, demanding their unconditional withdrawal.
“It is strange to demand that the Yemenis pull out of their city of Hudaydah for handing it over to the United Arab Emirates, which is committing an act of aggression against us. Such a demand violates international conventions,” the Ansarullah chief said.
“It is as if the United Kingdom called on the French to abandon Paris or another city and give it up to the British. It is not logical,” he added.
He further censured France for “contributing to Arab-led aggression” in Yemen by selling weapons to the aggressors.