Yemen’s warring factions attend UN-sponsored talks on collapsing economy

Yemen’s warring factions attend UN-sponsored talks on collapsing economy

ADEN, Yemen, (Rahnuma):  Delegates representing Yemen’s two warring factions participated in fresh talks sponsored by the United Nations in Jordan’s capital of Amman on Monday, a government official told Xinhua.

The two delegations are expected to engage in direct talks to discuss the country’s collapsing economy and managing the separated branches of Yemen’s Central Bank, said the official, who asked to remain anonymous.

“They will discuss a number of economic issues including the management of the central bank with the presence of senior officials from its two branches in Aden and Sanaa,” the source said.

“Revenues of Hodeidah’s key ports will also be discussed during the talks, particularly after the Houthis’ withdrawal from the city’s strategic locations,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Mohammed Ali Al Houthi, head of the group’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee, confirmed in a brief statement posted on his Twitter account that “the UN and its special envoy are sponsoring talks in Amman.”

The Houthi leader said that the UN-sponsored talks focus on “discussing the issue of salaries and ways to neutralize the economic situation.”

Delivering salaries is a legitimate right for all employees and officials working in the country’s civil or military administrations, according to the Houthi leader’s statement.

The UN-sponsored talks came just two days after the unilateral Houthis’ withdrawal from the key ports of the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

Michael Lollesgaard, chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee, confirmed the withdrawal in a statement.

“The first day of the redeployment of Houthi forces from the three ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras-Issa went in accordance with established plans,” he said.

However, Yemen’s internationally-recognized government slammed the Houthis’ unilateral withdrawal from Hodeidah’s three key ports under a United Nations-brokered peace deal and described it as “an inaccurate and misleading offer.”

The government reaffirmed its rejection to any unilateral withdrawal of rebel forces from Hodeidah without a joint monitoring and verification of implementing the Stockholm Agreement.

The country’s Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany said that “tripartite mechanism for Hodeidah Redeployment committee means that the Yemeni government, the UN and the Houthis must verify any pullout from the city.”

The Yemeni foreign minister said in a tweet on Sunday that “neither the Stockholm Agreement nor the understanding of International Law includes a unilateral pullout.”

On Saturday, the Houthi rebels unilaterally withdrew from the three ports of the Yemeni Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

UN spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York on Saturday that the Houthi withdrawal “has begun.”

The long-delayed UN-sponsored Stockholm Agreement, the first step toward a comprehensive political solution, was reached in December 2018 and focused on the port city of Hodeidah, the lifeline for Yemen’s most commercial imports and humanitarian aid.

The Iran-allied Houthi rebels control the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah that has been the focus of intense clashes since 2017.

The government forces, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, have advanced to the southern outskirts of the port city, but the forces have halted a major offensive to recapture Hodeidah to pave the way for peace efforts.

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