UN welcomes US intent to revoke Houthi designation

Xinhua , Sunday 7 Feb 2021

The revocation will provide profound relief to millions of Yemenis who rely on humanitarian assistance and commercial imports to meet their basic survival needs.

Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Reuters)

The United Nations late on Saturday welcomed the announcement of US intention to revoke the designation of the Houthi movement in Yemen as a terrorist organization.

The revocation will provide profound relief to millions of Yemenis who rely on humanitarian assistance and commercial imports to meet their basic survival needs.

It will help ensure that much-needed essential goods reach them without significant delays, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a note to correspondents.

At a time when Yemen is at significant risk of famine, maintaining commercial imports and humanitarian assistance in adequate quantities is essential, said the note.

"We hope this positive development will contribute to UN efforts to resume a Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned political process to reach an inclusive, negotiated settlement to the conflict."

The designation came at the very last days of the previous US administration led by Donald Trump. The new administration said Friday that it would revoke the designation.

The move came one day after President Joe Biden announced an end to US support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and his decision to step up diplomacy and support UN-led initiative to end the war.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemen conflict in March 2015 to support Hadi's government.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million, and pushed the country to the brink of famine.  

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