Senior Iranian MP: Aggressors should leave Yemen for success of Stockholm talks

FNA – A senior Iranian legislator underlined the need for the withdrawal of the Saudi-led coalition from Yemen to help success of the recent agreements made for the ceasefire in Hudaydah port city.

“We welcome the understanding and agreement on Yemen and think that good steps have been taken to this end,” Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, a senior member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said on Tuesday.

“Iran’s unchanging strategy has included Yemeni-Yemeni talks because I believe that the Yemeni people (themselves) should decide for their country,” he added.

Naqavi Hosseini, meantime, said that the talks and agreements can be successful when aggressors and hegemonic power leave Yemen and stop meddling in the country’s affairs.

Stockholm hosted consultations on settling the conflict in Yemen from December 6 through 13. The parties, which met for the first time over that past 30 months, have signed an agreement on prisoner exchange and exchanged lists of prisoners subject to the swap. The process is expected to be over before January 20, 2019, if there are no more disagreements between the parties.

Apart from that, the pro-Mansur Hadi forces and the Ansarullah movement reached an agreement on cessation of hostilities in the port of Hudaydah. However they failed to reach accord on issues of the operation of the airport in Sanaa and consolidation of the national bank.

Saudi Arabia and some of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan, launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen. Around 20,000 people have died since the war began, says Yemen’s Health Ministry.

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations (UN) has said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.

Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

In August, a Saudi air raid hit a school bus as it drove through a market in the town of Dhahyan in Sa’ada Province in Northwestern Yemen, killing a total of 51 people, among them 40 children, and injuring 79 others, mostly children.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia’s deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.