UN envoy to Yemen in Riyadh to discuss framework for peace talks

Martin Griffiths set to meet Yemeni president, vice president and foreign minister

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths (C) leaves after a meeting with the President of the Huthi Revolutionary Committee, in the capital Sanaa, on November 24, 2018. In a possible breakthrough despite government scepticism, the envoy said that he discussed with Huthi rebel officials "how the UN could contribute to keeping the peace" in the key port city of Hodeida.
Griffiths met a Yemeni rebel leader in insurgent-held Sanaa Saturday and is to follow up by holding talks with Yemen's government in Riyadh, a UN source said. / AFP / Mohammed HUWAIS

The UN envoy to Yemen is expected to meet government officials on Monday to lay the groundwork for peace talks, as international pressure mounts to end the war.

"Mr Griffiths arrived to Riyadh on Sunday evening. He is scheduled to meet Yemeni government officials to discuss the frameworks of the peace talks," an aide close to the envoy told The National.

Yemen President Abdrabu Mansour Hadi, Vice President Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar and Foreign Minister Khalid Al Yamani are among those Mr Griffiths is expected to meet in the Saudi capital.

Last week, the UN official was in Houthi-held Sanaa before planned talks in December between the Iranian-backed rebels and pro-government forces. Mr Griffiths said he discussed with the rebels ways in which the UN could maintain peace in the port city of Hodeidah.

"We do not want a repetition of what happened in Geneva, that's why we will announce the date closer to the time expected," his aide said.

A UN-brokered attempt at peace talks in September collapsed after the rebels refused to travel to the Swiss city.

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