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Yemeni Gov’t Vows to Support Grundberg, Houthis Recant Initial Welcoming of the New Envoy

Yemeni Gov’t Vows to Support Grundberg, Houthis Recant Initial Welcoming of the New Envoy

Monday, 9 August, 2021 - 08:15
A previous meeting between former UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths with the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Hans Grundberg when he was the European Union’s Ambassador to Yemen (Twitter)

Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik on Sunday renewed his government’s commitment to providing all assistance and support for the mission of the newly appointed UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg to succeed.


The Yemeni government’s support for Grundberg came when Iran-backed Houthi militias chose to recant their initial welcoming of the Swedish veteran diplomat’s appointment.


Chief Houthi negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam Fleitah snubbed Grundberg’s assignment as “pointless.”


Many believe that the Houthis changing positions on Grundberg is tied to orders from Tehran, a key backer of the militant group.


Observers are also predicting that Houthis will revert to their old evasiveness when dealing with the new special envoy. The group actively seeks to thwart peace efforts and by time for its military escalation.


On Saturday, the Houthi-backed foreign minister Hisham Sharaf welcomed Grundberg’s appointment and wished him success in his mission. However, he did so while reiterating the group’s conditions for a ceasefire.


A few hours after Sharaf’s statement, Fleitah takes to Twitter on how the appointment of a new special envoy means “nothing” without an actual declaration on “ending hostilities and lifting the siege.”


The siege Fleitah mentioned refers to military operations mounted by the Yemeni army and pro-government forces to block the smuggling of weapons and arms through Houthi-run trafficking routes.


“There is no use in having any dialogue before airports and ports are opened as a humanitarian necessity and priority,” said Fleitah.


Houthis are demanding the immediate reopening of Sanaa airport to allow flights to and from Iran, which supplies them with weapons and ammunition.


On the other hand, Yemen’s official prime minister renewed his government’s commitment to providing all assistance and support for his mission to succeed.


Abdulmalik said his “government was committed, under the directives of the president (and) per the three references, for a locally agreed upon and internationally supported political solution.”


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