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Paris Commends ‘Positive’ Saudi-Omani Efforts in Yemen

Paris Commends ‘Positive’ Saudi-Omani Efforts in Yemen

Thursday, 19 January, 2023 - 08:45
French Ambassador to Yemen Jean-Marie Safa (Photo: Nawaf Al-Mutairi)

French ambassador to Yemen Jean-Marie Safa has praised peace efforts made by Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, and the Paris-backed UN Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg, and said they are yielding “positive developments” in Yemen.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Safa expressed his hope that “a new page will be opened in Yemen.”

“The Yemeni people are tired of war and want to live in peace. We feel positive changes thanks to the peace efforts made by the Saudis and Omanis, and of course the UN Special Envoy, who is strongly supported by France,” Safa told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Safa’s statements come two days after the UN envoy to Yemen announced a new approach he is working on, which calls for taking immediate measures to reduce military escalation, curb any economic deterioration, and proceed to a sustainable political settlement.

On Tuesday, Rashad Al-Alimi, head of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council (PLC), affirmed his country’s commitment to the just and comprehensive peace approach and partnership in power and wealth, warning the international community of the danger of complying with Houthi blackmail.

Safa stressed that these efforts should “lead to a cease-fire and to political negotiations between the Houthis and the internationally recognized Yemeni government.”

“The path to peace passes through national reconciliation in Yemen, through acceptance of the other, and the loyalty of all Yemenis to their homeland, not to external actors,” explained Safa.

“Peace is predicated on respect for human values and equality among all citizens, through a state that serves all Yemenis,” he added.

For his part, Grundberg spoke of “positive and constructive discussions” he had with the leaders of the Houthi group in the coup-controlled capital, Sanaa.

In his latest briefing to the UN Security Council (UNSC) two days ago, Grundberg described the general military situation in Yemen as “stable.”

“There was no major escalation, nor changes on the fronts,” he told the UNSC.

The UN diplomat, however, admitted that “some limited military activity, especially in Marib, Taiz, Al-Dhalea, Hodeidah, and Lahj, as well as the Saudi-Yemeni border area” had led to civilian casualties.

Grundberg warned of “the serious humanitarian repercussions of any renewed cycle of violence,” calling on warring sides to “work actively to prolong relative calm witnessed in the past period.”

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