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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Anwar Gargash: UAE 'fully supports' UN push for more Yemen talks

The minister met with UN envoy Martin Griffiths on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly 

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash.Reuters 
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash.Reuters 

The United Arab Emirates fully backs further peace talks on Yemen, minister of state for foreign affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said late on Tuesday night after meeting UN special envoy leading the international effort to resolve the crisis.

Dr Gargash met with UN special envoy on Yemen Martin Griffiths on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York where the pair discussed the situation in Yemen and the stalled peace efforts.

“Reaffirmed our strong support for the UN-led political process after Geneva setback. Will fully support UN proposals for new talks soon”, Dr Gargash tweeted after the meeting.

After months of visits to government and rebel groups as well as meetings with international interlocutors, Mr Griffiths called the first peace summit in Geneva on September 8.

However, after a flurry of last-minute demands, Houthi rebels failed to attend the talks and although the UN envoy said that there had been good discussions with the government delegation the overall push for substantive progress faltered.

Since then, Mr Griffiths has been back in Houthi-occupied Sanaa and holding numerous meetings to try and get the process back on track.

Also in New York, the UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy met the head of the UN Development Program (UNDP) and discussed aid projects in Yemen.

Meeting UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, Ms Al Hashemy discussed the “comprehensive efforts” being undertaken across Yemen – and in Hodeidah particularly – alongside NGOs to deliver humanitarian and development assistance, Emirati state media WAM reported.

The Yemeni government has been pushing into Houthi-held Hodeidah, a vital Red Sea port city that acts as an important entry point for international aid. The main offensive was launched in June but paused weeks later to give space for diplomatic efforts to reach a settlement.

However, after the failure of peace talks in Geneva this month, the offensive restarted with government-allied forces taking key rebel supply routes out of the city.

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Earlier this week, the UAE government announced a nine-point list of priorities for the General Assembly, number three of which was “promoting peace and diplomatic efforts in the Middle East” and expressed the government’s “full readiness to support all constructive efforts to reach peaceful settlement to all armed conflicts in the region, including those flaring in Libya, Palestine, Syria and Yemen, by adopting measures based on peaceful dialogue and confidence-building.”

President Hadi, whose government is recognised by the international community even though the rebels control the capital Sanaa and much of the north, is due to address the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.