Yemeni defense chief, US envoy discuss security issues

by Anadolu Agency

ADEN, Yemen

Yemen’s Defense Minister Mohsen al-Daeri and US Ambassador Steven Fagin on Monday discussed ways to strengthen the security partnership between the two countries.

In a Twitter post, the US Embassy in Yemen said Fagin and Al-Daeri explored ways to expand the bilateral security partnership.

“The Ambassador commended the efforts of the armed forces to combat Iranian-origin smuggling of illicit material into #Yemen,” it added.

Mark Whitman, the military attache at the US Embassy in Yemen, was also present at the meeting, according to Yemen’s state news agency SABA.

Touching on the link between the Iran-backed Houthi militias and other terrorist organizations that emerged more recently, Al-Daeri said that many members of the terrorist groups were arrested as they were plotting to carry out attacks in the liberated areas.

The Yemeni defense minister warned of the dangers posed by the continuous smuggling of unmanned aerial vehicles, missiles and sea mines by Iran and the Houthis, which he said threatens the region and international navigation.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The nine-year civil war caused the death to nearly 400,000 people in Yemen, according to UN figures, along with millions who have been displaced from their homes and areas making Yemen one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

On April 8, talks between Saudi Arabia and Houthis kicked off in Sanaa to work out details of a broad deal to end the war in Yemen.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak announced that the talks between the Saudi Arabian delegation and the Houthis would resume after the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

However, on May 15, Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said that they had made great concessions to end the war in the worn-weary country, but the Iranian-backed Houthis were not ready for peace.

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