WORLD UN envoy leaves Yemen after "fruitful" talks with rebel leader

WORLD

UN envoy leaves Yemen after "fruitful" talks with rebel leader

Xinhua

01:28, July 06, 2018

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Martin Griffiths, UN special envoy to Yemen, speaks during a press conference in the Yemeni capital Sanaa's international airport prior to his departure on July 4. (Photo:AFP)

UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths left Yemen's capital Sanaa on Wednesday after holding "fruitful" talks with the rebel leader in a bid to avert major fighting for strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

"During this visit," Griffiths told reporters at the airport, "I have held meetings with the leaders and representatives of Ansar Allah (Houthis) and the General People's Congress."

"In this regard, I am especially thankful to Abdulmalik al-Houthi (the chief of the Houthi movement) whom I met yesterday (Tuesday) for his support and the fruitful discussion we held," Griffiths said.

Griffiths said he will brief the UN Security Council on July 5 on the outcomes of his discussions in Sanaa and Aden.

"My talks with the parties will continue in the coming days," Griffiths said, adding that "I hope to see very soon President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. As you know, I had a meeting with him last week, a very positive meeting as usual."

Martin Griffiths, UN special envoy to Yemen, speaks during a press conference in the Yemeni capital Sanaa's international airport prior to his departure on July 4. (AFP photo)

On Monday, Griffiths arrived in Sanaa after his series of intensified negotiations last week with Yemeni exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in the southern Yemeni temporary capital of Aden, as well as with the leadership of the Unites Arab Emirates (UAE) in Abu Dhabi and Saudi leaders in Riyadh.

Earlier this week, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said his country welcomed UN peace efforts and declared a pause of a military advance started on June 13.

Griffiths' visit to Sanaa came few days after Houthi chief Abdulmalik al-Houthi proposed to hand over management of Hodeidah port to the UN supervision.

But Yemeni President Hadi and UAE official Gargash stipulated a full military withdrawal by Houthi rebels from Hodeidah as a condition for halting war and resuming peace talks.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in Yemen's civil war in March 2015, after Houthis seized many populated cities in the north and forced Hadi along with his government into exile in Riyadh.

UN agencies reported that the war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, and displaced over 3 million others.

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