AL chief reiterates support for peaceful settlement in Yemen

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CAIRO, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit reiterated support for finding a peaceful settlement to the crisis in Yemen, the Cairo-based pan-Arab body said in a statement on Wednesday.

Aboul-Gheit made the remarks during his meeting with Yemeni Parliament Speaker Sultan al-Burkani in the Egyptian capital on the latest developments of the chaos-stricken country.

The AL chief expressed keenness on reaching a "sustainable" peaceful settlement to the Yemeni crisis, stressing the necessity for Yemen's Houthi group to withdraw from the ports and the city of Hodeidah in compliance with a UN-brokered agreement reached in Stockholm in December 2018.

Yemen has been engaged in internal fighting since the Houthi rebels, allegedly backed by Iran, seized most of the Yemeni northern provinces in September 2014 including the capital Sanaa and later overthrew internationally-recognized, currently-exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in January 2015.

Meanwhile, the pro-Hadi forces supported by a Saudi-led Arab military alliance controlled the rest of Yemen, including the southern major city of Aden.

"The AL backs any effort that aims at reaching a settlement to the Yemeni crisis," Aboul-Gheit said on Wednesday, according to the AL statement.

He also urged the international community to adopt strict measures to stop "the hostile and terrorist practices of the Houthi group."

Saudi Arabia, Iran's number one regional rival, has been leading an anti-Houthi military coalition since March 2015 in support of Hadi, seeking his reinstatement.

Meanwhile, the Houthis used ballistic missiles and drones to attack several Saudi targets.

"These practices would threaten the regional and international security, undermine the efforts made for reaching a political settlement to the crisis," said the AL chief.

On the other hand, also on Wednesday, the Cairo-based Arab Parliament designated in a meeting attended by the Yemeni parliament speaker the Houthi militia as a terrorist group. Enditem

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