UN Envoy to Yemen Hails Govt., Arab Coalition’s ‘Constructive’ Approach at Peace Talks

Wednesday, 12 September, 2018 - 05:30
Riyadh – Abdel Hadi Al Habtoor

United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths hailed on Tuesday the “constructive” approach adopted by each of the legitimate government and Saudi-led Arab coalition in the peace consultations.

He made his remarks during a briefing before the UN Security Council on the latest developments in Yemen.

The Arab coalition and legitimate government are providing important support to the UN’s efforts, he added.

The Joint Forces at the coalition revealed that it had issued two permits for UN planes to transport the Iran-backed Houthi militias to Geneva on September 6 and 7, but the UN later revoked them due to the militants’ “intransigence.”

The UN-sponsored Geneva consultations were held last week. The legitimate government sent a delegation to the talks, but the Houthis did not, dooming the consultations to fail.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said on Tuesday that despite the Houthis’ non-attendance of the Geneva meeting, the alliance will continue to support UN and international efforts to bring together the rival Yemeni parties to find a solution to the crisis.

He revealed that the coalition had received on September 4 a request from Griffiths to issue a permit to transport the Houthis to Geneva, but it was later revoked. He made a similar request the next day before also revoking it.

Maliki stressed, during a press briefing, that the coalition will forge ahead with the “military option” to pressure the Houthis to sit at the dialogue table.

He also called to that end on the UN and influential countries to exert more pressure on the militias.

On the field, he said that the route connecting Sanaa to Hodeidah province was now within the firing range of the Yemeni forces. Houthi supplies to Hodeidah through this route have been consequently cut.

In addition, Maliki told Asharq Al-Awsat that the army, with coalition support, is now completely surrounding the al-Durayhimi village in Hodeidah.

Furthermore, he revealed that the coalition had thwarted a Houthi terrorist attack in the Red Sea. The militants were plotting to use a booby-trapped vessel to carry out the attack, but coalition forces seized it and it is now being inspected by specialized teams.

He explained that the coalition had received information on Thursday about a potential Houthi attack at sea. The militants were seeking to use Hodeidah as a launchpad for their assault. The coalition consequently took all necessary measures to locate the coordinates of the booby-trapped vessel.

It was located and seized on Friday morning near al-Fisht island.

Maliki stated that the Houthis have sought to launch booby-trapped boats towards islands off the Hodeidah coast to later use them to threaten international trade routes in the area.

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