News ID: 220023
Published: 1129 GMT August 17, 2018

UN invites Yemen ex-government, Houthis to Geneva peace talks in September

UN invites Yemen ex-government, Houthis to Geneva peace talks in September

The United Nations has invited Yemen's former government and the Houthi Ansarullah movement to hold talks in Geneva next month on ways to resolve the country's crisis, a UN spokeswoman says.

"I can confirm that the Office of the Special Envoy sent out invitations," UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci told reporters on Friday.

The UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said earlier this month that the consultations are due to begin in Geneva on September 6 on a framework for peace talks and confidence-building measures.

The UN, he said, is primarily trying to reach an agreement between the Saudi-backed side and Yemen's ruling Houthis "on the issues essential to ending the war and on a national unity government in which everyone participates."Presstv reported.

Amid an escalation of fighting in the Red Sea port of Hudaydah, Griffiths expressed hope on June 28 that a new round of peace talks between major warring sides of the country could begin, saying, “I think it’s long overdue that that should take place. It’s been about two years since the last talks on Yemen.”

Vellucci further said she had no information on whether representatives from Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had also been invited to Geneva.

During a press briefing in July at the Sana’a International Airport after two days of talks in the Yemeni capital, Griffiths said he has held "fruitful" talks with the leader of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

He added, "I'm greatly reassured by the messages I have received, which have been positive and constructive."

More than 15,000 people have been killed in over three years of a devastating Saudi campaign against Yemen. The war has badly affected Yemen’s infrastructure as hundreds of thousands remain displaced and in dire need of humanitarian aid.

The United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.

A high-ranking UN aid official has warned against the “catastrophic” living conditions in Yemen, stating that there is a growing risk of famine and cholera there.

Human Rights Watch has said the Saudi-led coalition has conducted scores of “indiscriminate and disproportionate air strikes” hitting civilian objects that have killed thousands of civilians “in violation of the laws of war”, with munitions that the US, United Kingdom, and others still supply.

In one of their most abhorrent attacks, Saudi warplanes targeted a school bus in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada last week, leaving 40 children and 11 adults dead.

Saudi Arabia and some of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s former president and a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The movement, which is a significant aid to the Yemeni army in defending the country against the invading forces, has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration during the past three years.

Resource: presstv
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