High-level Houthi negotiator meets with UN envoy after snobbish precedent
Yemen’s chief negotiator for the Houthi movement said Thursday he had met with UN special envoy Martin Griffiths, after Washington criticized the group for pushing back the diplomat on a previous visit to the region.
Griffiths’ latest trip coincides with that of US envoy Tim Lenderking, who spoke in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, who heads a military coalition that has been fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi group for more than six years.
Oman-based Houthi negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam said on Twitter that he and Griffiths discussed the need to speed up the “humanitarian deal” by lifting an air and sea blockade, which “would pave the way for more discussions. broad on a permanent ceasefire. and a comprehensive political settlement “.
Griffiths is leading an international effort to end the fighting in Yemen, which has sparked what the United Nations considers the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, pushing millions to the brink of starvation.
The main demand of the Houthis has been the lifting of the blockades of the country’s main port and the capital’s airport, both of which are under Houthi control but restricted by the coalition. The Saudis have said reopening air and sea links should be accompanied by a ceasefire agreement that the Houthis did not agree to.
Last week, Lenderking criticized the Houthis for not seriously engaging in stalled efforts to secure a ceasefire. He also urged the coalition to remove restrictions on all Yemeni ports and airports. Read more
The Houthis, who have controlled most of northern Yemen since 2014, are pushing an offensive to seize Yemen’s gas-rich Marib region and have continued cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Houthis ousted a Saudi-backed government from the capital Sana’a. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression.
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