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Yemeni Envoy Griffiths Leaves Sanaa Empty Handed

Published June 20th, 2018 - 11:55 GMT
U.N. special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths  (Twitter)
U.N. special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths (Twitter)

U.N. special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths left Yemen's capital Sanaa on Tuesday, failing to secure a deal with the Iran-backed Houthi militias to peacefully cede Hodeidah and its port.

Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi rejected the proposal in what is likely the militias’ commitment to "instructions from Tehran", informed sources in Sanaa said.

The U.N. envoy departed Yemen without making a statement in reflection of the Houthis’ unyielding stance on the crisis.


He was unable to attend a U.N. Security Council briefing on the progress of the consultations he had held over the past two months with Yemeni parties to resume peace negotiations to end the Houthi coup against legitimacy.

Informed U.N. sources in New York said that the envoy briefed the Council from Sanaa on the latest field developments in Hodeidah and informed the members that he was trying to resume negotiations between the Houthis and legitimate government.

The Security Council stressed the importance of keeping Hodeidah and al-Salif ports operating to receive food supplies and U.N. aid, according to the sources.



Sources in Sanaa said that, last Saturday, the U.N. envoy presented his plan to Houthi leaders, but they asked for more time to study it. This prompted Griffiths to request a meeting with Abdul Malik al-Houthi to try to personally convince him to accept the proposal.

Sources revealed that Houthi told Griffiths that he was prepared to sacrifice the last member of his militia and not abandon Hodeidah, or agree to hand it over to legitimate government forces.

Griffiths tried to persuade the leader to withdraw his group from Hodeidah, provided that a neutral commission manage the port, but Houthi rejected the suggestion, saying it was “a breach of sovereignty”, stated the sources.

U.N. sources suggested that the U.N. envoy intends to carry out a tour of the region as part of his mission to resume peace negotiations.


This article has been adapted from its original source. 

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