Griffiths in Sanaa to Pressure Houthis on Peace Talks

Friday, 24 January, 2020 - 07:45 -

Griffiths in Sanaa to Pressure Houthis on Peace Talks

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UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths speaks at the UN Security Council. AFP file photo
Sanaa - Aden - Asharq Al-Awsat

UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in Sanaa on Thursday with a plan to resume peace talks between the legitimate Yemeni government and Houthi militias.

His visit came after a delegation of European ambassadors ended their visit to Sanaa following talks with senior Houthi officials.

Before traveling to Yemen, the UN envoy held a series of meetings in Riyadh with members of the legitimate government as part of efforts to holding a new round of consultations and discuss arrangements for a political solution to the country’s crisis.

However, hours before his arrival in Sanaa on Thursday, Griffiths issued a statement criticizing the flare-up in fighting between legitimate government forces and Houthis.

He later posted a tweet condemning on attack in Marib.

“Targeting MPs and civilian areas is unacceptable and against international law. My heartfelt condolences to MP Hussein Al-Sawadi. According to reports, members of his family, including a child, were killed when a missile hit his residence. This military escalation must stop,” the envoy wrote.

Griffiths called on all Yemeni parties to "cease all military activities including movement of troops, airstrikes, as well as missile and drone attacks."

"We all have to work toward advancing the peace process, not setting it backward. Yemen has suffered enough," Griffiths said in the statement.

According to observers, the UN envoy would discuss in Sanaa the restrictions imposed by militias on the movement of UN staff in Hodeidah, in addition to the redeployment in the port city and issues related to the administration, security and local authority in the governorate.

The legitimate Yemeni government refuses to resume any peace talks with the Houthis before the withdrawal of militias from Hodeidah, the release of detainees and lifting the siege of Taiz as stipulated by the Stockholm agreement.

But militia sources quoted Houthi foreign minister in the coup government Hisham Sharaf as saying that a political settlement in Yemen requires a comprehensive ceasefire at all battlefronts, an end to the blockade, and a set of measures on confidence-building, which include the payment of salaries for civil servants, reopening of Sanaa airport and allowing access for oil tankers and ships carrying foodstuff at Hodeidah port without any hindrance.