US joins UN in push to revive Yemen’s political process

No military solution to the conflict, says UN envoy Martin Griffiths

Forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed government flash the victory sign as they deploy during clashes with Huthi rebel fighters west of the country's third-city of Taez, on March 16, 2021. / AFP / Ahmad AL-BASHA
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Hope for progress in Yemen's peace process is possible as long as the warring sides are committed to it, the UN said on Tuesday.

Over the past two years, UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths led efforts to restart negotiations, last held in December 2018, to end the deadly conflict.

"The special envoy continues to work towards creating a conducive environment for the resumption of the much needed political process in Yemen to comprehensively and sustainably end the conflict," Mr Griffiths' spokeswoman, Ismini Palla, told The National.

Part of these efforts include building consensus by the parties of the need for a nationwide ceasefire, opening the capital, Sanaa, and its airport, easing port restrictions and moving forward swiftly to the political process, Ms Palla said.

In a recent phone call, Mr Griffiths discussed with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken efforts to bring Yemen back to the peace track.

“They both agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict and peace is still possible in Yemen provided that the parties to the conflict are committed to it,” Ms Palla said.

The UN describes Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Six years into the conflict there is little sign of de-escalation.

The US is attempting to revive diplomatic efforts by working with partners to end the Yemen war.

Mr Blinken “highlighted that the United States supports a unified, stable Yemen free from foreign influence, and that there is no military solution to the conflict", State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

The UN envoy is “working closely with the international community and is grateful for the diplomatic support expressed recently by several member states – including the US government – to the UN’s efforts”, Ms Palla said.

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Iran-allied Houthi group ousted the country's government from the capital Sanaa.

Yet the war, in which tens of thousands of people have died, has been in a military stalemate for years.