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UN Envoy Discusses Yemen Conflict in Oman before Heading to Sanaa

UN Envoy Discusses Yemen Conflict in Oman before Heading to Sanaa

Monday, 21 January, 2019 - 07:15
UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths. (AFP)
Aden - Ali Rabih
UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths held talks in Muscat Sunday with Omani officials as part of his efforts to garner regional pressure to persuade the Iran-backed Houthi militias to implement the Sweden deal.

He met with Acting Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry for Diplomatic Affairs, Dr. Mohammed bin Awad al-Hassan, to discuss the latest developments in Yemen and international efforts to reach a truce and peace settlement, said official sources in Oman.

Yemeni observers said that the envoy’s visit is primarily aimed at seeking Omani pressure on the Houthis to convince them to implement the Sweden deal, specifically its article on withdrawing from Hodeidah city.

Griffiths is then set to travel to Houthi-held Sanaa Monday in order to meet the militia chief and head of the UN advance team charged with monitoring the ceasefire, retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert, informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He is then expected in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Wednesday for talks with Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

In Hodeidah, the Houthis are continuing their obstruction of Cammaert’s efforts, by rejecting his redeployment plan.

Head of the militias’ so-called ruling council Mahdi Mshat met in Sanaa with Houthi representatives in the redeployment team, which also includes legitimate government members.

The meeting held the government responsible for failing to implement the Sweden ceasefire, reported the Houthi version of the Saba news agency.

In Aden, Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malek held talks with the government representatives in the committee tasked with following up on the Sweden deal.

The PM reiterated the government’s support and commitment to the Sweden agreement, hailing the UN’s ongoing efforts to support the Hodeidah ceasefire and slamming the Houthis for their violations.

He urged the international community and UN Security Council to observe the violations, which he said were a blatant attempt to thwart the Sweden agreement.

Under UN sponsorship, the government and Houthis had reached an agreement in Sweden on December 13 for the militia withdrawal from Hodeidah. The city and its three port will be restored under the control of the local authorities. The UN would also oversee the implementation of the deal.

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