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Yemeni Presidency: Restoring state institutions crucial for enhancing maritime security

Yemeni Presidency: Restoring state institutions crucial for enhancing maritime security
29 Jan 2024 09:48

SHAABAN BILAL (CAIRO)

The Yemeni presidency has underscored that defensive operations against Houthi attacks on international navigation in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait should not be seen as the ultimate solution.

Instead, it has emphasised that the key to enhancing maritime, regional, and international security lies in the restoration of state institutions. Rashad Al-Alimi, chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council, made this assertion during a meeting with media correspondents and international news agencies.

Al-Alimi stated that the most effective approach to securing the entire Yemeni coast is through bolstering the capabilities of the legitimate government and enabling it to regain control of state institutions and port cities, which have now become platforms that threaten maritime, regional, and international security.

He stressed the significance of establishing a regional and international institutional framework to safeguard the Red Sea and forming a partnership with the Yemeni government as the sole guarantor of security and stability for Yemen and the region.

Al-Alimi also called for an end to the threats and attacks by the Houthi group on shipping lanes and global trade. Al-Alimi pointed out that Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have disrupted global trade and caused suffering to the people of the region.

These attacks have compounded the hardships faced by the Yemeni population, who rely on imports for 90% of their means of survival. He held the Houthi group responsible for luring these fleets into Yemeni waters through their terrorist actions, which are an extension of their coup against national consensus.

Furthermore, Al-Alimi affirmed the readiness of the legitimate government to pursue peace and its willingness to make concessions to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.

He emphasised that peace is not only a Yemeni interest but also a regional and international one, necessitating collective global efforts to achieve it. Major General Samir Farag, an Egyptian military expert, emphasised the critical role of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait as one of the world’s largest maritime gateways, facilitating approximately 40% of global trade.

He noted that any threats in the Red Sea have a cascading impact on global trade, prompting the United States and Britain to form an international alliance aimed at countering these threats by targeting missile sites launched toward ships crossing the Red Sea.

In terms of economic implications, researcher Mohammed Anis highlighted several consequences of the Red Sea’s instability, which serves as the world’s most crucial navigational passage, connecting to the Suez Canal at its northern terminus. Anis pointed out that these impacts include hindrances to navigation in the Red Sea, resulting in exorbitant increases in insurance and shipping costs.

These effects extend to higher consumer goods costs in Western markets, disruptions in supply chains, interference with production processes in Europe, and weakening the central banks’ ability to control declining inflation rates. This, in turn, affects the timing of interest rate hikes by European and American banks.

In this context, Yemeni military official Colonel Abdul Basit Al-Bahr stressed the imperative of permanently eliminating threats to maritime navigation and ensuring the uninterrupted movement of ships and trade navigation in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

He emphasised that the negative consequences encompass obstructing efforts to reach a political solution in Yemen, perpetuating the region as a source of regional and international threats, and squandering opportunities for stability.

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