Security Council calls for the “immediate release” of an Emirate ship seized by the Houthis

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United Nations (United States) (AFP) – The UN Security Council called on Friday, in a unanimous statement, for the “immediate release of the Emirati ship” seized by Houthi rebels in early January, and its “crew”, according to diplomatic sources.

The statement, drafted by the United Kingdom under pressure from the UAE, a non-permanent member of the Security Council since early January, denies detention of the “Rawabi” ship.

The statement, seen by AFP, added that the 15 councilors demand “all parties to resolve this issue quickly” and stressed “the importance of freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea in accordance with international law.”

At the conclusion of its declaration, the Council called on “all parties to put an end to the escalation of the situation in Yemen and to work constructively with the United Nations Special Envoy to reiterate the inclusive political talks.”

Following the confiscation of Rawabi, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have announced the action of “piracy” against a civilian ship. The two countries have been intervening militarily in Yemen since 2015 to support pro-government forces against Houthi rebels near Iran.

For its part, the Houthis confirmed that the ship was carrying “military equipment”, while the Saudis claimed that it contained equipment intended to build a hospital in the Yemeni archipelago of Socotra, which is controlled by separatists from southern Yemen near the UAE.

In a recent letter to the United Nations, the UAE stated that the ship’s crew consists of 11 people, including seven Indians (India is a non-permanent member of the Security Council) and one each from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Burma and the Philippines.

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