UK welcomes new UN envoy for Yemen

Martin Griffiths brings experience and expertise to the role, says Boris Johnson

Chief negotiator of the Indonesian government Sastro Handoyo Wiryono (R) is escorted by a mediator and cheif of the Henry Dunant Center Martin Griffiths (L) upon his arrival for peace talks with the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in Tokyo 17 May 2003. The Indonesian government and separatist rebels from Aceh province began last-minute peace talks here to salvage a five-month-old peace accord.     AFP PHOTO/Toru YAMANAKA / AFP PHOTO / TORU YAMANAKA
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The UK has welcomed the recruitment of an experienced conflict mediator to take up the role of peace envoy to Yemen.

Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, said that Martin Griffiths would be central to achieving progress in Yemen.

The former foreign office diplomat brings a “wealth of experience from several high-profile UN positions in the region, and is a leading expert on international mediation and conflict resolution,” said Mr Johnson.

Mr Griffiths, 66, most recently served as an adviser to the UN's Syrian envoys between 2012 and 2014.

Officials hope he would bring fresh impetus to the peace and humanitarian process when he takes over from Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, of Mauritania, whose term ends this month after nearly three years in the role.

A Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened in Yemen's civil war in 2015, backing government forces fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels.