Yemen militants balk at Hodeida handover

UN Yemen envoy recently met Al Houthis in a last-ditch bid to head off looming battle over Hodeida

Cairo: Yemen’s Iran-allied Al Houthi militants have refused a UN proposal to withdraw from Hodeida and its crucial port in order to stave off an all-out battle over the coastal city, Al Arabiya television reported on Friday.

Instead Al Houthis proposed to jointly manage Hodeida and its harbour with the UN, the television channel added, quoting Yemen’s international mediator Marin Griffiths as saying in a briefing Thursday to the UN Security Council about his recent talks in Yemen.

The briefing came a day after Griffiths concluded a three-day visit to militant-held Yemeni capital Sana’a where he met Al Houthi leaders. At the end of the visit, his second in less than a month, he voiced optimism about the relaunch of Yemen’s long-stalled peace talks.

Yemen’s internationally recognized government this week linked the restart of peace talks to Al Houthis’ “unconditional and complete” handover of Hodeida that has been under their control for more than three years.


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