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UN Envoy to Yemen Expected in Riyadh Monday

UN Envoy to Yemen Expected in Riyadh Monday

Monday, 15 July, 2019 - 10:00
UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths gestures as he arrives at a meeting with Houthi-appointed local officials in Hodeidah, Yemen January 29, 2019. (Reuters)
Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths is expected to arrive in Riyadh on Monday to meet Yemeni legitimate leaderships, a government source told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The stop in the Saudi capital is part of a tour that took him to Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Washington and that aims to resume efforts to garner diplomatic momentum for his mission to achieve peace in Yemen.

It coincides with the government sources announcing that the legitimate leadership is seriously considering withdrawing from the Sweden agreement, seven months after signing it. The Iran-backed Houthi militias have not implemented or quit their violations of the truce that was reached in wake of the December 2018 deal.

The sources questioned to Asharq Al-Awsat Griffiths’ silence on the militias’ escalation on the ground throughout Hodeidah, as well as their continuous oppression of civilians and trial of detainees included in a prisoner exchange stipulated in the Sweden agreement.

The legitimate government pleas to the envoy to interfere to halt the Houthis’ death sentences against 30 activists, pushed him to tweet: “The UN opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances.”

“We urge the parties to implement the prisoners and detainees agreement signed in Stockholm,” he added.

This is Griffiths’ second visit to Riyadh since the legitimate government resumed cooperation with him after it had accused of him of bias towards the Houthis.

According to observers, Griffiths is seeking regional and international support for proposals on speeding up the implementation of the Hodeidah agreement and then return to talks on a final political deal.

It is unclear whether the envoy will visit Sanaa to meet Houthi leaders or whether he will suffice with the talks he held with its members in Muscat.

In his most recent interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, he said he sincerely hopes that the Sweden agreement would be implemented as soon as possible, adding, however, that this demands all parties to assume their responsibilities.

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