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Yemeni Official Condemns Houthi Pullout From UN-Watched Ports As 'Fake Move'

© Photo : AFP / Ships are seen at Saleef port in the western Red Sea Hodeida province
Ships are seen at Saleef port in the western Red Sea Hodeida province - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hamzah Alkamaly, the Yemeni deputy minister for youth and sports, said that he regarded the withdrawal of Houthi forces from the three strategic Yemeni ports under a close watch of the United Nations as a "fake" move, while UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths only attempted to present it as progress.

"The problem is that what happened in Al Hudaydah is not a real step, it is a fake step that we cannot count on. Houthis did not until the final moment withdraw from the ports, the three ports that were mentioned in the Stockholm agreement. Houthis until this moment are escalating [situation] in Al Hudaydah and other cities. They are not convinced with peace until now, and the government of Yemen believes that this step is not a real step, it is just a maneouver that the Houthis did before the meeting of the UN Security Council on May 15," Alkamaly, who was also part of the government delegation at the talks with opposition in Sweden, said.

According to Alkamaly, the UN chief's special envoy is trying to picture the Houthi withdrawal from Yemen's Red Sea ports as an important step.

"He [Griffiths] is not balanced anymore, he wants to misinterpret, he wants to make any step prove that [the situation in Yemeni ports] is actually an improvement, which is not right. Until now we did not achieve anything … despite they claim to withdraw from Al Hudaydah, which is not true," he added.

Alkamaly noted that, in his point of view, Griffiths was not facilitating the peace process in the crisis-affected nation and, on the contrary, was "trying to deal with Houthis as if they are really implementing something."

Tribesmen hold their weapons as they attend a tribal gathering to show support to the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen November 10, 2016. - Sputnik International
Yemen's Houthi Forces Redeploy from Key Ports 'Partly as Agreed' - UN
The Houthi withdrawal from the ports under the Stockholm peace accord started earlier in May. Under the deal sealed in the Swedish capital, the Yemeni government led by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi and the rebel Houthi movement agreed to a ceasefire in the key port city of Al Hudaydah, which had witnessed months of heavy fighting between the rival forces.    

Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government forces, led by Hadi, and the rebel Houthi movement for years. A Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015. The conflict has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

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