SANAA, Aug. 10 (YPA) – Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs in the National Salvation Government in Sanaa Hisham Sharaf, in an interview with the Russian “Sputnik Agency” on Sunday, spoke about many files, uncovering facts about the state administration mechanism in Sanaa.
The Foreign Minister talked about the existing political partnership with the General People’s Congress (GPC), the files of floating oil reservoir “Safer” and war prisoners, and the relationship of the Salvation Government with the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths.
In the interview, Sharaf also talked about the Riyadh agreement between Hadi’s government and the so-called “Southern Transitional Council” (STC), which calls for secession and is supported by the UAE, as well as the nature of the relationship of the Yemeni state (the Supreme Political Council and the Salvation Government) with countries such as Russia and Iran.
The following is the transcript of the interview:-
* “Ansarullah” Movement is accused of obstructing the work of the UN team to assess the ship’s condition and maintenance … How do you respond to these accusations?
FM: Saudi Arabia and the coalition countries are looking for anything, and now they are talking about Ansarullah. Ansarullah is in an alliance with the GPC, and there is a national salvation government and a supreme political council, and there is a political regime that is being dealt with, and therefore when they talk about Ansarullah, they are supposed to look at the picture in a larger and more comprehensive manner in Sanaa. On the military side, Ansarullah have the pioneering and leadership in this aspect, as for the political and administrative aspects, we are very much involved in decision-making. Consequently, their entities stem from the discord or conflict that took place six years ago. Ansarullah is part of this Yemeni society and they are part of the government, and therefore it will not satisfy them if anything happens in Yemen’s ports, beaches, or marine wealth, as well as Hodeidah. We are looking forward to reaching a point where there is a solution.
* An official of the legal department on the file of prisoners in Sanaa expected to complete the prisoner exchange deal with the Hadi’s government, in implementation of the Jordan agreement, during the coming days … What is the latest developments in this file?
FM: Sanaa is still extending its hand to complete this file, and I still confirm through this interview that Sanaa wants to fully advance the issue and release all prisoners according to what was agreed upon in Stockholm and start a positive step to release the prisoners, as they are Yemenis and not foreigners, and therefore we are still in the same direction. And the file of prisoners in Sanaa is ready to be executed whenever the brothers see it started.
*The same official confirmed that local mediation succeeded in releasing thousands of prisoners while the United Nations failed to do so …. Why do you think?
FM: The United Nations is not responsible, and I do not explicitly hold it responsible, but the decision-makers on the other side are “the party to the aggression and their loyalists.” Everyone must be well aware that the role of the United Nations is a mediator, not a negotiator, and not an implementer. The United Nations is a mediator that brings the parties together to agree on what they see and what they have agreed upon. This must be taken into account with regard to the United Nations and the UN envoy. The intervention of the United Nations in the Yemeni affairs is in a matter of relief, and providing humanitarian aid to reach political solutions that satisfy the parties and satisfy the Yemeni people in the first place.
* Ansarullah accused the UN envoy to Yemen of becoming involved with the Arab coalition .. Does this mean the failure of Griffiths’s mission?
FM: Of course, in this aspect, everyone knows that some paradoxes may occur, and sometimes there are some interference in situations and some paradoxes in this aspect. Thus Ansarullah is in the National Salvation Government in Sanaa, and the common understanding within the framework of the government and the Supreme Political Council is to give opportunities to the UN envoy to reach solutions. We are tired of the war that has been waged against us for six years, under the pretext of restoring legitimacy to Yemen. We want solutions that end this siege and aggression, and start a new political process.
* There is communication between Sanaa and Moscow regarding Yemen, believing in Russia’s ability to play a role in reaching peace in Yemen … What is required from Russia in this regard?
FM: I always stress the importance of the Russian presence in solving the Yemeni crisis. Russia is one of the five members of the Security Council, and is a great and powerful country. Russia’s honorable position in the Syrian crisis makes us confident that whenever Russia has a role in the process of bringing peace to Yemen, peace will certainly be achieved. And we want that instead of giving the file only to Britain to act as it likes. Given the slow pace of the Yemeni file, the presence of Russia or Iran in the international quartet, which includes Britain and the United States of America, will be very important in bringing about a political balance or a balance in the positions, especially since the Russian people have a good relationship with the Yemeni people, and Russia looks primarily at the interest of Yemen and its people.
* What is your position on reaching a new mechanism to accelerate the Riyadh Agreement between Hadi’s government and the Southern Transitional Council?
FM: Those who mediate in the issue of the STC and those who claim legitimacy are the same ones who stirred up chaos, killing and destruction in Yemen. They want to prolong the crisis and create new trouble spots in Yemen, and they are present in the southern governorates so that they have justifications to do what they want, whether in Socotra or in other regions.
These are agreements and arrangements that we have nothing to do with, and we do not see in them any benefit for Yemen. We want to stop the aggression, lift the siege, and start a political process that includes all parties. There will be no militias or illegal entities.
* Does this agreement worry Sanaa, claiming that its implementation changes the balance of power in favor of Hadi’s government?
FM: No, we never worry because we are the strongest, right and have the full power to achieve what we want. We are the strongest on the ground because we are fighting for the principle of preserving sovereignty and the interests of the Yemeni people. We are not at all concerned about what is happening now, because in the end we are the party that searches for the interests of the Yemeni people and wants one unified state for Yemen, a state of order and law, in which the governance is for the Yemeni people.
* Ansarullah confirmed its readiness to participate in any Iranian response to America … Why is Yemen involved in this regional conflict between Iran and Washington?
FM: This question should be directed to the leadership of Ansarullah if they had stated this or said this thing. I expect that we, in the Republic of Yemen, in the first place are looking for the interests of our Yemeni people. We are not jumping to files bigger than us or global problem files. We are working to preserve the interests of Yemen and the interests of the region in order to make the Yemeni people happy and achieve peace, stability and prosperity for them.
* Doesn’t this prove Saudi accusations that “Ansarullah” carries out an Iranian agenda?
FM: In my opinion, as a foreign minister in the Yemeni National Salvation Government in Sanaa, this statement is incorrect, and Ansarullah is greater and wiser than this thing. They are from Yemen, and they preserve the interests of Yemen. Consequently, if Ansarullah declared that they will fight with Iran against America, then this matter is left to them to respond to it and to explain. But I assure that Ansarullah and the GPV with all its components from the National Salvation Government, the honorable patriots and the tribes that fought the aggression coalition are all looking for the interest of Yemen and its people in the first place.
* What message do you want to address through “Sputnik” to the international community?
FM: I want to address a message through “Sputnik” to the international community, including our Russian friends, that the Yemeni people are tired of this unjust war that the coalition launched against us, under flimsy justifications. And I hope that the world along with Russia, as a strong country, will join forces to end the aggression, stop the bombing and the war, and end the siege. We do not want to bring weapons or that weapons being brought to us. We want to open the airports and ports and start a sound political process, so that the Yemeni people can live a normal and decent life, and I hope that everyone intervenes to stop the war by the coalition countries.
Translated from Arabic by YPA Staff ®