In the latest development and amid considerable successes of the Yemeni army and the popular committees against the Saudi aggression, Khaled al-Yamani resigned from his post as foreign minister of the home-unrecognized government of Mansour Hadi. But what has pushed him to the resignation? Knowing the reasons can help give a picture of highly messy conditions of the anti-Yemeni front.
The divisive Stockholm agreement
Al-Yamani was appointed foreign minister by the fugitive president Mansour Hadi in May 2018, the fourth year of the highly devastating aggression against Yemen and the year of increased pressures against Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to end the all-out blockade and war that have caused a humanitarian crisis in the Arab country. In a move to relax the pressures, the Arab coalition chose al-Yamani, who before that was the permanent envoy of Yemen to the UN for several years, for the foreign minister post. Of course, Saudi and Emirati rulers expected him to use his relations to help ease the strains on them and put up a pro-peace gesture. But due to the atmosphere caused by the killing of the prominent Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated by a hit squad sent by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabia went to negotiations with Yemeni Ansarullah movement, the main revolutionary force holding the power in Sana’a and facing the Saudi-led aggression, on the future of Hudaydah Port.
When Stockholm agreement was signed, the Arab coalition, feeling that lifting the siege on the port will characterize a big defeat for them while they held it as a bargaining chip, started their breaches of the accord. Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy to Yemen peace who has shown a pro-coalition bias, pressed the Saudis to implement their agreement commitments, however. Meanwhile, al-Yamani after the standoff on the peace deal took some stances that drew Saudi-headed coalition and Mansour Hadi discontentment with him.
Talking to the Russian Sputnik news agency, al-Yamani in April said that “we over the past four years went to war and saw that the pressures yielded no results. Now it is important for us to experience all the opportunities for peace.” He earlier had said that the Yemeni crisis was moving close to its end and needed some “wisdom.” This came while in a fully contradictory position, Mansour Hadi in a letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticized Griffiths performance and said that the envoy worked to promote the legitimacy of Ansarullah movement-led administration in Sana’a. He claimed that Griffiths worked to guarantee the presence of Ansarullah in Hudaydah city and its port under the supervision of the UN. Naturally, Mansour Hadi’s criticism against Griffiths’ activities in Yemen means that al-Yamani has failed in his task to reduce the international pressures and getting the UN envoy to his side.
As the foreign minister failed in his role, Lebanese broadcaster Al-Mayadeen, citing informed sources, reported that al-Yamani, who at the same time was a representative of the UN chief on the coordination of contacts between the warring sides, resigned from his post a week ago.
Ansarullah's battleground achievements like the drone attacks on the Saudi oil pipeline and airports have prompted the resignation, as it seems that Saudi front now seeks further unity to mobilize its forces against the increasing retaliatory attacks by the Yemeni army and popular forces. Al-Yamani resignation coincides with the three-day visit to the UAE of Moein Abdulmalik while Abu Dhabi and Mansour Hadi are at odds.
Deadlock in the peace agreement
The resignation vindicates Ansarullah’s claims that the aggression parties and Mansour Hadi have deliberately violated the terms of the agreement and that they are to blame for the current standoff in Hudaydah Port, which is the major lifeline for the besieged Yemeni regions, mainly the north held by Ansarullah. The UN on May 14 announced the exit of Ansarullah forces from Hudaydah, Al-Salif, and Ras Isa ports, Mansour Hadi loyalist militias claimed that what happened was simply a deceit and Ansarullah forces still held control of the three ports as they handed over them to the allied coast guard.
Al-Yamani’s resignation in the middle of the current conditions indicates which force has really caused the standoff in Stockholm agreement implementation. This makes any UN decline to press the treacherous party of the agreement to implement its commitments unjustified.