"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.
To clarify the Coalition has paused the advance on the city & port on June 23 for a week to allow the UN envoy to secure an unconditional withdrawal from Hodeida. We continue our pressure on the parameter & await results of the Envoy’s visit to Sana.— د. أنور قرقاش (@AnwarGargash) July 1, 2018
— د. أنور قرقاش (@AnwarGargash) July 1, 2018
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.
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.