Yemen’s warring parties have offered “concrete ideas” to achieve peace, U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths said on Wednesday after meeting Iran-aligned Houthi leaders in the capital Sanaa, Reuters said.
Griffiths has been conducting shuttle diplomacy in search of a political solution that would avert an all-out military assault on the Houthi-held port city of Hodeidah by a Saudi-led coalition that entered Yemen’s conflict in 2015 to try to reinstate the exiled, internationally recognized government.
His efforts have succeeded so far in pausing the offensive launched last month by United Arab Emirates-backed forces to take Hodeidah, a Red Sea port and main conduit for supplies to Houthi-held areas in northern and western Yemen including Sanaa.
The international community fears the offensive on Hodeidah port will aggravate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and touch off a famine affecting up to 8.4 million people believed by U.N. officials to be now on the verge of starvation.
“All parties have not only underscored their strong desire for peace, but have also engaged with me on concrete ideas for achieving peace,” Griffiths told reporters in Sanaa airport at the end of a three-day visit to the Yemeni capital.
“I am especially thankful to (Houthi leader) Abdel Malek al-Houthi whom I met yesterday (Tuesday) for his support and the fruitful discussion we held,” he said.
Griffiths said he would brief the U.N. Security Council on Thursday on the outcomes of his discussions and that he hoped to meet President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi “very soon”, for a second round of talks with his displaced government.