UN envoy says all have strong desire to seek Yemen political solution

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-31 19:17:23|Editor: Jiaxin
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SANAA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- UN special envoy Martin Griffiths left Yemen's Sanaa on Saturday, after a week-long visit where he met with chief of dominant Shiite Houthi rebel group to negotiate resumption of stalled peace talks.

"All the people I met, both in Riyadh and Sanaa, spoke about their strong desire to move ahead with a political solution," Griffiths said in a statement he distributed to reporters in Sanaa airport upon he left.

He said he will work harder to find ways to help resume peace talks between the Yemeni warring parties and give hope to all Yemeni families.

Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, leader of the revolutionary committees, was quoted by his group media that the group's chief Abdul-Malik al-Houthi met with UN envoy Griffiths through a telephone network due to security reasons.

Griffiths' visit aimed at bringing the Houthis to the negotiating table after the peace process between the battling forces has stalled since August 2016.

Earlier this month, Griffiths met with Yemeni President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where they discussed ways to resume the UN-brokered peace negotiations between the internationally-recognized government and the Houthi rebels.

Griffiths succeeded recently the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in February.

Three previous peace talks sponsored by the United Nations and hosted in Kuwait and Switzerland in 2016 had failed to end the war.

Yemen has been locked in a civil war for three years after the Iranian-allied Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces including Sanaa in late 2014.

Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military coalition since March 2015 to support the government of President Hadi after the Houthis forced him into exile.

The war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, half of them civilians, displaced over 3 million others, and created the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, according to UN humanitarian agencies.