UN Chief Joins Yemen Peace Talks in Sweden
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United Nations chief on Thursday will join the final day of peace talks between Yemen’s warring parties that have brought agreements on reopening Sana’a airport and restarting oil exports but no deal on a strategic Red Sea port.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived late on Wednesday in Sweden, where the talks are being held, according to Reuters.
He and his special envoy, Martin Griffiths, are due to announce results of the UN-sponsored talks, the first in more than two years, and a date for a new round of consultations.
The two parties have not agreed on the status of the Red Sea port of Hudaydah.
The Houthis control most population centers, including Hudaydah and the capital, Sana’a.
Both sides had received from the United Nations a “final package” of agreements on the status of Hudaydah, Sana’a airport, supporting the impoverished country’s central bank and a political framework.
Sources familiar with the talks said they had agreed to reopen Sana’a airport with international flights stopping at airports in Aden or Sayun in the south for inspection before flying in or out of the capital. The United Nations would oversee safety procedures, a Houthi delegate said.
Deals were reached for a prisoner swap and resumption of oil and gas exports to help shore up central bank coffers. Revenues would be used to pay salaries across Yemen, delegates said.
Griffiths is trying to avert a full-scale assault on Hudaydah, where Saudi-backed forces have massed on the outskirts of the port that handles most of Yemen’s commercial goods and aid supplies.
He has proposed that both sides withdraw from the city and place it under control of an interim entity with international monitors deployed.
The parties agree to a UN role in the port, but differ on who should run the city. The Houthis want Hudaydah declared a neutral zone, while those loyal to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi believe the city should fall under their control.