US, British and EU officials held intensive meetings during the recent period with the chairman of the presidential Command Council in Yemen, coinciding with the escalation of the wave of US-British strikes against the Houthis, which were in response to the group’s attacks against commercial ships in the Red Sea.
The Western moves towards the Yemeni presidential leadership council came in response to the Yemeni President ,Rashad Al-Alimi, call for supporting the Yemeni government to restore it’s sovereignty over the country as a solution to the problems in the Red Sea as well as the regional and international security problems caused by the Iran-backed militia.
“Defensive operations are not the solution, but to eliminate the Houthis ‘ military capabilities,” Al-Alimi told reporters in Riyadh, adding, “the solution is a partnership with the legitimate government to control these areas and restore state institutions.
“These statements have received great attention from Western countries, which has been observed over the past few days, as Alimi held important talks,the most notably were with British Foreign Minister David Cameron, and the head of the EU mission to his country Gabriel Vinales, as well as high-ranking American officials,”
These meetings focused on the repercussions of the Houthi attacks against the international shipping lines in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and it’s impact on the region and Yemen as well as on the international peace and security.
On Sunday, Al-Alimi reiterated that the supporting of the government to re-establish its control over all the entire national territory also , the implementing of the resolutions of the international legitimacy, includig the Resolution 2216, is the best road map for disarming the rogue militia and establishing peace and stability in Yemen.
During his meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf and the US ambassador to Yemen Stephen Fagen, Al-Alimi warned ” of the risks of the continuous flow of Iranian weapons and smuggled funds to the Houthi militias and other terrorist organizations serving with them, on the international peace and security,”.
During his previous meeting with the British Foreign Minister, Al-Alimi stressed the importance of the transition of the international approach in dealing with the Yemeni file to “more resolute punitive measures” against those he described as”rogue militias”, and the “strict” implementation of the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, in particular Resolution 2216.
Recently, the United States, Britain and a number of allied countries have violently intensified airstrikes on Houthi positions in various parts of Yemen, which portends an escalation of the conflict in the region, let alone the aggravation of the difficult living conditions of Yemenis.
At dawn on Sunday, the US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reported that the recent attacks against the “Houthis” came with the support of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and led to the disruption and reduction of the group’s capabilities.
Two US officials said that the United States and Britain bombed Houthi targets in Yemen from air and surface platforms and “F/A-18” aircraft, targeting at least 30 targets in at least 10 locations.
The Houthi group has been continuing its attacks in the Red Sea since November 19, when they announced the seizure of an Israeli merchant ship (Galaxy) and the detention of 25 of its crew .
The escalation of the Houthis forced some major international companies to suspend their shipping activities in the Red Sea until further advice, as a result of the deteriorating security situation. Most commercial ships were also forced to go through the Cape of Good Hope route located south of the state of South Africa, as an alternative passage from Bab El-Mandeb Strait and the Red Sea, for fear of attacks by the Houthi group.
Recently, there has been an increase of at least 200% in shipping and insurance prices in many containers passing through Bab El-Mandeb.