UAE supports diplomatic efforts to secure Ansar Allah withdrawal
ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates, whose troops have played a major role in a Yemeni government offensive against the port city of Hodeida, said on Saturday that it was ready to support diplomatic efforts to secure Ansar Allah withdrawal.
But it said the pullout must be unconditional and from the whole city not just its vital docks, the entry point for Yemen’s imports.
“The coalition will achieve its goal, which is to free the city, including the port,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, tweeted.
In the meantime, it will support all efforts to secure a peaceful and unconditional withdrawal by Ansar Allah fighters, he added.
UAE-backed government forces launched their offensive against Hodeida on June 13 and on Wednesday overran its disused airport after deadly fighting with the Ansar Allah garrison.
On Saturday, the airport continued to come under mortar fire from adjacent Ansar Allah-held neighbourhoods in the south of the city. Government forces responded against the source of the fire.
UN envoy Martin Griffiths, who held abortive talks in Sanaa last weekend, was continuing “consultations with all sides to avoid a military confrontation in Hodeida and return rapidly to the negotiating table,” his office said.
Ansar Allah has said they are willing to share control of Hodeida’s port with the United Nations but have vowed that their forces will remain in the docks and in the rest of the Red Sea city. — AFP