UN envoy to Yemen in UAE to discuss political solution to war

Martin Griffiths holds talks with senior Emirati and Yemeni officials in Abu Dhabi

United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths speaks during a news conference following talks at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, Germany April 12, 2021. Reuters
United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths speaks during a news conference following talks at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, Germany April 12, 2021. Reuters

UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, held talks with president of the Southern Transitional Council Aidaroos Al Zubaidi and senior UAE officials in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, a UN official told The National.

Mr Griffiths has been leading efforts for several years aimed to get Yemen’s warring sides, the internationally recognised government and Houthi rebels to negotiate a political solution to end the six-year conflict.

During his visit to the UAE capital, Mr Griffiths discussed with Mr Al Zubaidi the latest developments in Yemen.

He “stressed the unique international momentum to support an inclusive political settlement to the conflict to reach sustainable peace”, a statement by UN secretary general spokesman Stephan Dujarric said.

Mr Griffiths also met senior Emirati officials late on Wednesday, the UN envoy’s spokeswoman, Ismini Palla, told The National.

The talks focused on "the status of the current negotiation efforts to agree on a nationwide ceasefire, urgent humanitarian measures and the resumption of the political process", the statement said.

The UN envoy returned to Amman on Thursday afternoon.

The war began when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took over the capital in a 2015 coup, leading Abdrabu Mansur Hadi's internationally recognised government to call on allies to assist.

A Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict months later.

UN efforts to mediate an end to the conflict looked hopeful in December 2018, with an agreement reached in Stockholm for ceasefires in the port city of Hodeidah and two other ports, Salif and Ras Issa, and a successful prisoner exchange.

However, major delays were caused by the Houthis arguing over the details of the agreement, which prevented major aspects being implemented.

In late March, Saudi Arabia proposed an initiative to end the Yemen war.

The kingdom’s plan, welcomed by the international community, proposed a nationwide ceasefire, reopening of Sanaa International Airport to some destinations, resumption of talks between Yemen’s warring sides, allowing additional fuel and commodities to enter Hodeidah port and supporting reconstruction and aid efforts in the country.

Updated: April 15, 2021 05:04 PM

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