Chairman of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council Dr. Rashad Al-Alimi reiterated on Tuesday his country’s demands for the international community to designate the Iran-backed Houthi militias as terrorist.
Al-Alimi received in Riyadh a delegation of the European Parliament headed by the Chair of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, David McAllister.
He urged the delegation to take action by designating the Houthis as terrorist in view of its egregious practices and violations of international law that “have even surpassed the crimes committed by Al-Qaeda and ISIS terror groups and their allies in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.”
“We call on the EU to support the Leadership Council and the legitimate government in achieving reforms and alleviating the suffering of Yemeni citizens,” he said, according to the Yemeni news agency, Saba.
Al-Alimi and the delegation discussed the latest developments in Yemen and European efforts required to establish peace and stability, and fulfill the aspirations of the Yemeni people to restore state institutions and end the terrorist Houthi coup.
He expressed his gratitude to Europe’s support of the legitimate government and humanitarian efforts in easing the suffering of the people.
He stressed the importance of doubling international pressure on the terrorist Houthi militias, and supporting the reforms led by the Presidential Leadership Council and the government as an ideal option to bring peace and reduce the catastrophic repercussions of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
For its part, the EU delegation underscored its support for all efforts aimed at establishing peace and stability and alleviating human suffering in Yemen. It highlighted the importance of intense international pressure to revive the political process in the country.
On Monday, Alimi told Al Arabiya television that the legitimate government and the Leadership Council were dedicated to upholding the UN-brokered ceasefire, which ended in October, and other peace initiatives to end the war, despite constant Houthi breaches that left hundreds of government military personnel dead or injured.
The Houthis continue to refuse to extend the ceasefire and open roads in Taiz, he added.
“Today, the Houthis are continuing their war in Yemen proving to the Yemeni people first and then to the international community that they are not seeking peace,” Al-Alimi stated, accusing the militias of collaborating with terror groups, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
Moreover, he revealed that the relationship between the Houthis and Iran dates back to 1983, not 2000, when the Iranian government gave its backing to an armed group commanded by Badreddine al-Houthi, the father of the Houthi movement’s leader.
“The Iranian project in Yemen coincided with the emergence of Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Al-Alimi said.
He also accused the Houthis of freeing militants, including some Al-Qaeda operatives jailed for their involvement in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole destroyer, arming them, and then sending them to liberated areas to launch attacks against government troops.
He therefore praised the decision of the National Defense Council, which in October labeled the Houthis a terrorist group after they attacked oil terminals in the southern provinces of Hadramout and Shabwa.