14:29 GMT +321 May 2019
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    Antonio Guterres

    UN Secretary-General Believes in Revival of Talks on Yemen

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    UN Secretary General Guterres says that talks on reconciliation in Yemen that have been underway for almost two years should be revived.

    UN (Sputnik) — The talks on reconciliation in Yemen should be revived, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday.

    "I am a Catholic, and Catholics believe in resurrection. So if the talks are "dead," they can always be revived. And I believe we must do it for one very simple reason – because of the suffering of the people of Yemen," Guterres said at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Adel Al-Jubeir.

    Guterres arrived at Saudi Arabia within the framework of his first visit to the Middle East as the UN Secretary-General.

    "One of the reasons for this visit is the opportunity to support our Special Envoy [for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed] in his work. And his work is to do everything possible in accordance with the international law and international resolutions in order for the end [of the conflict] to become possible, in order to end the suffering of the people of Yemen," Guterres explained.

    Yemen's civil war between the internationally recognized Aden-based government and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015. The Saudi-led coalition of Persian Gulf countries began the same month and has since been criticized for hitting civilians, causing disproportional child casualties and damaging vital non-military infrastructure.

    On Saturday, leaders of the Houthi called on the United Nations to terminate the mandate of the Special Envoy, claiming that he sympathized with the Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.


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