The minister added that Houthis are a militia who represent a tiny fraction of the people of Yemen. "They overthrew the country’s constitutional government and have oppressed and plundered the country since," Dr. Gargash said in a statement on commencement of operations to liberate Hodeidah port.
For three years, the Houthis have resisted multiple opportunities to engage in serious peace talks, and in the meantime, the humanitarian situation has worsened on the ground, he added.
"The security threat posed by the Houthis not only to Yemenis but to Yemen’s neighbours has grown," he said, adding that the Houthis have used this time to extort money from vital supplies entering Yemen via Hodeidah port. "They have used their positions on Yemen’s west coast to threaten international shipping," the minister went on to say.
According to Dr. Gargash, the Houthis continued to defy UN Security Council resolutions and the Yemeni people’s demand for constitutional government. "If they keep Hodeidah and its revenues and its strategic location, the war will last a long time and the suffering of the Yemeni people will continue," the minister warned.
"This deadlock must end," the UAE minister said, adding that it is clear that for the UN-led political process to succeed, the situation on the ground must change.
"Depriving the Houthis of their control of Hodeidah port, at the Yemeni government’s request, answers the call of the people of Hodeidah for freedom from the Houthi rule. It means that the Houthis will no longer be able to impose their will at the barrel of a gun. They will be one Yemeni group among others, jointly negotiating to decide the future of their country, in a political process under United Nations auspices. That is the goal of our operations in Hodeidah," the minister concluded.