UN Fails to Push Yemeni Forces to Cede Control of Hudaydah: Report
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The UN special envoy who is in Yemen for talks over the port city of Hudaydah and to persuade the Yemeni forces to cede control of the strategic port is going to leave the country without achieving any results, an Arabic language website reported Monday.
In a report on Monday, Arabi 21 quoted sources affiliated with the United Nations as saying that the UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths will leave Yemen today after his talks with the Houthi Ansarullah movement went nowhere.
The UN official arrived in Yemen on Saturday to meet Houthi leaders and offer the United Arab Emirates’ proposed plan for halting its strikes on Yemen’s western port city of Hudaydah, which is controlled by the Houthi forces.
The UN-affiliated sources have said that the negotiations over Hudaydah have not led to any tangible results.
Armed militants and mercenaries backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched an offensive on Hudaydah as part of their so-called Golden Victory operation on Wednesday after the expiry of a deadline set by the Emirates for the Houthis to quit the port.
Griffiths was believed to be pushing a deal for Houthi leaders to cede control of the Red Sea port to a UN-supervised committee and halt defending their city against the invaders and Saudi-led mercenaries.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said in Twitter that he supports the UN envoy’s “efforts to facilitate the safe handover of Hodeida”, adding that the Saudi-led “coalition will continue with its military and humanitarian preparations to achieve this urgent result.”
The port is the main route for essential goods into Yemen, where 22 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and 8.4 million face starvation, according to the United Nations, which says the figure could reach 10 million by year end.
Aid agencies have said the battle may exacerbate an already catastrophic humanitarian situation.
The UN has warned that in a worst-case scenario, the battle could cost up to 250,000 lives and cut off aid supplies to millions of people.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.