Griffiths Sets 3 Objectives for Consultations on Yemen

Griffiths Sets 3 Objectives for Consultations on Yemen

Friday, 7 December, 2018 - 07:30
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom and UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths attend the opening press conference on UN-sponsored consultations on Yemen at Johannesberg castle, Stockholm, Sweden December 6, 2018. Stina Stjernkvist /TT News Agency/via REUTERS
Rimbo (Sweden) - Badr Al-Qahtani
United Nations envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths has set three objectives at the opening of consultations on Yemen held in a renovated castle outside the Swedish capital, Stockholm.

The objectives that Griffiths mentioned include measures that would lead to confidence-building, through talks on the implementation of an agreement on the release of captives, the opening of Sanaa airport and shoring up Yemen’s economy.

The other two objectives include limiting confrontations and reaching a general framework for a settlement.

The envoy said that the consultations taking place between the legitimate government and the Houthi militias in the picturesque Swedish village of Rimbo and which are the first since the Kuwait talks in 2016, presented a "critical opportunity” to push the peace process forward.

The two warring sides have agreed to free more than 3,000 prisoners.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani, who heads the legitimate government's delegation to the UN-sponsored talks, told Asharq Al-Awsat that his team “insists on starting with confidence-building measures.”

“We want to discuss the implementation of the deal” on the prisoner swap, he said. “No one should be left out,” he added.

Yamani also stressed that the Houthis should commit to taking security and military measures, including handing over ballistic missiles and weapons before starting discussions on a political solution.

On Yemen's economic issues, the FM rejected any attempt to establish a Central Bank in Sanaa. "We hold onto the Central Bank that has been moved to Aden and the expansion of its capabilities because it is considered an institution that serves all Yemenis."

Asked about Sanaa airport in the insurgent-held capital, Yamani said: "We are discussing the opening of all airports in Yemen but the one in Aden should be the country's main airport."

He also said that the militias must withdraw from the city of Hodeidah and its port and hand it over to the legitimate government that is based in Aden.

The Houthi delegation at the talks included around 42 people, which led to confusion.

A source in the legitimate delegation said: “We asked that they be taken out of the hall of consultations, which only began when five were escorted out.”

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