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UN Envoy Departs Sanaa after Receiving Houthi Vow to Pull out of Hodeidah

UN Envoy Departs Sanaa after Receiving Houthi Vow to Pull out of Hodeidah

Tuesday, 19 February, 2019 - 06:45
A policeman stands on a street in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah. (Reuters)
Aden – Ali Rabih
United Nations envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths departed Sanaa on Monday after a surprise visit to meet with members of the Iran-backed Houthi militias.

He left the Houthi-held capital after receiving a vow from the Houthi leader that the militias will withdraw from the port city of Hodeidah in line with the Sweden ceasefire agreement that was reached with the legitimate government in December.

Griffiths is set to brief the United Nations Security Council on his latest efforts in Yemen.

The truce deal calls for the redeployment of forces in Hodeidah and its three ports, holding a prisoner exchange and forming a joint committee to lift the siege off Taiz.

Meanwhile, head of the Regional Redeployment Committee (RCC), Danish general Michael Lollesgaard, said that it had reached a partial agreement on the first phase of the redeployment.

It also reached a preliminary agreement on the second phase, but will need to hold further consultations with the concerned leaderships.

The UN is expected to resume discussions on the second phase within a week.

Legitimate government representative at the RCC, Sadiq Dweid, said that the government rejects any unilateral Houthi measures.

The redeployment steps will be accompanied with the removal of mines in areas that the Houthis withdraw from, he said in a tweet.

On the prisoner swap, discussions have entered a final phase that will culminate with the announcement of a final list of detainees held by the government and Houthis.

Head of the government delegation at the swap deal talks Hadi Haig told Asharq Al-Awsat that the concerned officials are awaiting an invitation from Griffiths’ office to resume meetings that were being hosted by Amman.

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