Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 October 2019

UN envoy: we can soon begin redeployment in Yemen’s Hodeidah

Jeremy Hunt met Martin Griffiths, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Adel Al Jubeir in London as part of an effort to find a way to end the country’s civil war

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said that he hoped 2019 would be "the year of Yemen". Reuters 
UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said that he hoped 2019 would be "the year of Yemen". Reuters 

Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, said he was optimistic about reaching peace in the war-torn country, on his visit to London where he met senior foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, the UK and the UAE.

Mr Griffiths attended a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al Jubeir. Veteran US diplomat David Satterfield also attended the meeting.

Sheikh Abdullah arrived from France, where he held talks with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“I think we can soon begin the process of redeployment in Hodeidah and frankly both parties are working very constructively. And it’s helped by you [Mr Hunt] and the diplomatic consensus that you bring together to make it happen. It’s the year of Yemen, I hope,” Mr Griffiths said in a video released by the UK’s Foreign Office.

Mr Hunt said on Twitter earlier on Friday that it was “taking far too long to turn ceasefire agreements into a sustainable path to peace”, after four years of civil war and over four months since the Stockholm Agreement was reached.

“While it is hugely welcome that both sides recently agreed to the UN’s plan for the first phase of troop redeployments in Hodeidah, this took two months after the initial agreement was reached in Stockholm – far longer than we had all hoped,” he added.

The meeting was organised to discuss the next steps in the UN-led peace process and how to help Mr Griffiths deliver on last year’s Stockholm agreement.

Commenting on the meeting Mr Hunt said: “I called this meeting so that we keep doing everything we can to move forward on the hard road to peace in Yemen. This is a horrendous conflict and it is taking too long to turn the ceasefire agreed in Stockholm into a durable path to peace. While it is hugely welcome that both sides recently agreed the UN’s plan for the first phase of troop redeployments in Hodeidah, this took two months after the initial agreement was reached in Stockholm – far longer than we had all hoped.”

He added that the UK believes that there can be no military solution to the conflict and parties should keep to the commitments made in Stockholm.

The group of countries has met several times to discuss Yemen, most recently in February in Warsaw. Last month, Mr Hunt visited Aden on the first visit to Yemen by a western foreign minister since the start of the conflict in 2015.

Updated: April 28, 2019 09:02 AM

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