UAE ‘optimistic, supportive’ of UN Yemen envoy

Griffiths has said he would not start from scratch and his mission would be built on GCC Peace Initiative

Al Mukalla: The UAE has expressed its support for the mission of UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, saying his fresh efforts could yield a settlement between warring factions in the country.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, has said the UAE is optimistic about Griffiths’ meetings with Yemeni shareholders and it is keen on seeing a peaceful settlement initiated by Yemenis to end more than three years of bloody conflict.

“[We are] optimistic and supportive of UN Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffith’s mission. Our shared goals include regional stability and a political solution through a Yemeni-led process,” Gargash said on Twitter.

The minister’s tweet came as the UN envoy engaged in meetings with main Yemeni players inside and outside the war-torn country.

On Monday, Griffiths met with leaders of Southern Transitional Council, an umbrella organisation for key political and military figures in southern Yemen, in Abu Dhabi. The meeting focused on achieving peace in Yemen and the UN envoy listened to the view of southerners on the current developments in Yemen, media outlets close to the council reported.

When the UN envoy announced assuming his role as a new envoy to Yemen, he said he would devote his early efforts to listening to the views of all stakeholders. Griffiths pleased the internationally-recognised government when he stressed that he would not start from scratch, and his mission would be built on the GCC Peace Initiative, outcomes of National Dialogue Conference and the UN Security Council resolution 2216. The three references recognise Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi as the legitimate president of Yemen and ask the Iran-backed Al Houthis to quit cities and turn over arms to the government.

Last month, he described his meetings with Hadi and his government as “productive” and said they were in agreement with him about finding an urgent solution to the Yemeni crisis. Al Houthis and some members of General People’s Congress, the late president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party, met with the UN envoy in Sana’a last month.

Two former UN envoys to Yemen had failed to broker a peace deal in Yemen through several rounds of peace talks and meetings in Geneva, Kuwait, Riyadh and Muscat. During his last briefing to the UN Security Council, the former UN envoy to Yemen, Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad, accused Al Houthis of torpedoing a peace deal during his mission by refusing to sign it at the last minute. Al Houthis have refused to pull out of cities and disarm before forming a unity government.


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