Coalition Suspends Op on Yemeni Port to Bolster Talks With Houthis – UAE FM

CC BY-SA 3.0 / Ljuba brank / Al Hudaydah, Yemen - fishing boatsAl Hudaydah, Yemen - fishing boats
Al Hudaydah, Yemen - fishing boats - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf nations has suspended the offensive on the Yemeni port of Al Hodeidah in order to promote peace talks with the Houthi rebel movement, UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said on Sunday.

"We welcome continuing efforts by UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, to achieve an unconditional Houthi withdrawal from Hodeida city and port. We have paused our campaign to allow enough time for this option to be fully explored. We hope he will succeed," Gargash wrote on Twitter.

The foreign minister went on to clarify that the pause was initially introduced for a week on June 23, but is still remaining in place as the coalition awaits the results of the UN envoy's visit to the Yemeni capital.

Earlier in the week, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said that he planned to launch peace talks between the Yemeni government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur and the Houthis, also known as the Ansar Allah, in the coming weeks.

The military operation in Al Hodeidah was launched in June, when the Yemeni government forces, supported by the Saudi-led coalition, engaged in an offensive to recapture the port from the Houthis. The offensive was criticized by the international community as it could aggravate the acute humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Al Hudaydah accepts some 80 percent of all aid and commercial deliveries to the crisis-torn country.

READ MORE: US Intelligence Denies UAE Request to Support New Offensive in Yemen — Report

Last week, media reported that the Houthis were willing to hand control over the Yemeni port to the United Nations in order to ease tensions. However, the rebel movement told Sputnik on June 26 that the issue of control over Al Hudaydah did not fall under the UN competence as the latter’s primary goal was to observe the situation.

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