United Nations in 'intense negotiations' to avert attack on Hudeida

United Nations in 'intense negotiations' to avert attack on Hudeida

Saudi sources said the United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, was in the Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa, to discuss the possibility of worldwide control of the port, according to the Guardian.

Mr Guterres said his envoy Martin Griffiths was locked in "intense negotiations" with Yemen's rebel Houthis, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to find a "way to avoid the military confrontation in Al Hodeidah".

In a letter circulating in the House of Representatives and obtained by Al-Monitor, members of Congress "deeply alarmed" by the military action are asking US Defense Secretary Jim Mattisto dissuade Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from attacking.

Following the closed-door meeting, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who is council president this month, called for de-escalation and said the top United Nations body would be "closely" following developments.

Around 70 per cent of Yemen's imports, including the vast majority of its food, comes through Hodeidah and the port is described as the country's "lifeline".

The Western diplomat said there were "a couple of last ditch attempts" to try to see whether there were any options to de-escalate, including a plan to "see some sort of a temporary ceasefire", but that would involve the Houthis putting their weapons down or potentially even moving out of the port. "It is essential for him to be given the time that he needs to facilitate a negotiated solution that avoids conflict in the city and we support his efforts to do so".

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the alliance launched its intervention, contributing to what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.


"We recognize the UAE's security concerns and these need to be addressed", British Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters.

He also announced that humanitarian shipment permits were being granted regularly, and that humanitarian aid has been flowing continuously into all parts of Yemen.

Saudi and UAE-backed Yemeni government forces have surrounded the key port of Hodieda in recent weeks, putting pressure on the Houthi defenders. Aid agencies have warned that an attack would have catastrophic consequences.

The United Nations relocated members of its worldwide staff from Hodeidah on Monday. This incident took place on Friday.

The three-year conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million.

The Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE agreed to global supervision over the port, but this was also met by Houthis' rejection.

The conflict has left almost 10,000 people dead in Yemen, already the Arab world's poorest country.

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