The spokesman of Yemen’s ruling Houthi Ansarullah movement has expressed doubts about United Nations’ assertions about a recent peace deal on the war-torn city of Hudaydah, saying the agreement for implementing a ceasefire in the northwestern port city is yet to be finalized.
In a detailed interview with the Press TV, Mohammed Abdul Salam, who represented the Houthis in the recent UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden, said the agreement on Hudaydah reached on Thursday between the National Unity government in Sana’a, led by the Houthis and the Saudi Arabia-backed exiled government, led by former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, was just a deal on the main issues involved and there was no binding agreement on how to implement the ceasefire in the port city.
Contradictory to the UN statements, Abdul Salam told Press TV’s Robert Carter that no final agreement had been reached on Hudaydah and that the talks were far from over.
“If we want to describe the manner of talking with the UN then I’d say yes, we’re close from certain issues in politics, economy, and humanitarian aid, but how it would be implemented depends on the other party, and the question lies if they’re ready to do so,” said Abdul Salem, who led the Sana’a delegation to the talks.
“Concerning Hudaydah, we made progress in terms of form and ideas, but in the content there was nothing. In the issue of the general spectrum, we had progress in ideas, but there were no agreements,” he added.
The comments came following UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ speech on the final day of the negotiations on Thursday.
“We have reached an agreement on Hudaydah port and city, which will see a mutual redeployment of forces from the port and the introduction of a governorate-wide ceasefire,” said Guterres.
Ansarullah’s Abdul Salam was quite clear that the agreement details had not been finalized and expressed doubts about the ability of his rivals to implement such measures on the ground.
“They don’t have any actual presence, neither on the ground, nor in politics, nor military-wise, nor in the media,” he said.
Although the Yemeni official did acknowledge that the Yemeni government in Sana’a was interested in the implementation of the ceasefire while negotiations continue on other issues.
One of the most significant causes of civilian death in Yemen is the Saudi-coalition’s bombing campaign.
Responding to Press TV’s question on what would happen if the Saudi-led coalition continued to attack Yemen, Abdul Salam said, “If the agreement wasn’t implemented or nobody, especially the other party, announces a serious ceasefire, this means that nothing happened, the war will continue, and it means that the UN has failed to do anything, and that UN envoy Martin Griffiths has failed.”
Since the comments were made at the end of the UN peace talks, reports have already surfaced of Saudi-coalition airstrikes and local gun battles taking place in Hudaydah province.
Yemen’s army, which is allied with the Houthi movement, said that Saudi Arabia and its allies have conducted 21 airstrikes on Hudaydah over the past 24 hours in violation of Thursday’s truce.