UAE backs new UN bid for Yemen peace talks

Cairo: The United Arab Emirates, a main partner to an Arab coalition fighting Iran-allied Al Houthi militants, will support UN proposals for initiating a new round of peace talks for Yemen, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash said on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, a UN-sponsored attempt for indirect talks between the Yemeni government and Al Houthis collapsed after the rebels failed to show up in Switzerland.

Gargash said he held “very productive discussions” on Yemen with special envoy Martin Griffiths on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meetings in New York on Tuesday.

“Reaffirmed our strong support for UN-led political process after Geneva setback. Will fully support UN proposals for new talks soon,” Gargash added in a tweet.

Days after the collapse of the Geneva attempt, Griffiths visited Oman and Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sana’a where he met Al Houthi leaders in a fresh bid to revive the peace process. The former British diplomat did not report any breakthrough.

The Yemeni forces, supported by the Saudi-led coalition, have since stepped up military operations against Al Houthis, mainly in the coastal city of Hodeida.

The Red Sea city, controlled by Al Houthis since late 2014, is strategically important because it has a harbour, which is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, as most of the commercial imports and relief supplies enter through it to the country.

The coalition accuses Al Houthis of taking advantage of their control of Hodeida port to obtain weapons from their Iranian patrons as well as confiscate aid intended for Yemenis in order to sustain their war efforts.

In recent months, the extremists have suffered military setbacks and territorial losses.

On Wednesday, the coalition air defences intercepted and destroyed five ballistic missiles towards the government-controlled city of Maraib in central Yemen, military sources said.

The missiles had targeted a military parade that was being staged in the city marking the anniversary of a 1962 republican revolution, the sources added, according to Yemeni news portal Barakish. Net.

In 2015, the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, intervened in Yemen at a request from the government against Al Houthis after the militants advanced on the southern city of Aden, the temporary capital of the country after their takeover of Sana’a. Al Houthis have since fired hundreds of ballistic missiles against government-ruled areas and towards neighbouring Saudi Arabia.


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