Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement has agreed to negotiate handing the United Nations a “leading UN role” in managing the vital Hudaydah port-city, according to UN envoy Martin Griffiths.
“I am here to tell you today that we have agreed that the UN should now pursue actively and urgently detailed negotiations for a leading UN role in the port and more broadly,” said Griffiths on Friday.
The announcement came after Griffiths met managers of the Ansarullah-held port to address ways to protect the humanitarian “lifeline to the people in Yemen” from “potential destruction,” amid a Saudi onslaught on the city.
A day earlier, the UN envoy had also met Ansarullah movement leader Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi and other high-level officials in the capital of Sana’a to discuss the group’s attendance in talks planned to be held in Sweden, next month.
Speaking to Griffiths, Badreddin al-Houthi stressed the importance of truthful intention within the Saudi-led military alliance to push for a political solution, avoiding fallacies used during the previous round of negotiations.
The Ansarullah leader further praised positive steps taken by the UN to ensure a political solution to the Yemeni conflict.
Last week, Griffiths had announced that warring sides in Yemen were close to reaching a prisoner exchange deal as a confidence-building measure ahead of the upcoming negotiations.
Ansarullah followed suit on Monday, declaring a decision to halt drone and missile counter-strikes against warring countries as a gesture of goodwill to speed up the peace process.
The Saudi regime and its allies launched a deadly campaign against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the country’s former Riyadh-allied regime and crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The Western-backed imposed war, which has so far failed to achieve its stated goals, has, however, constrained humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to the import-dependent state, leading to a mass cholera outbreak and starvation from famine.
On Friday, World Health Organisation spokesman Christian Lindmeier announced that almost half of Yemen’s children are chronically malnourished and face potentially crippling damage to their growth.
Furthermore, the international non-governmental organization Save the Children released a report on Thursday, claiming that an estimated 85,000 children under five may have starved to death in Yemen since 2015. And it is all because of unjustifiable unilaterally impose Saudi war on Yemen that is illegal as far as international law is concerned.