The only solution to end the war in Yemen is through negotiations and the warring factions must seize this opportunity, the UN special envoy for Yemen said in Berlin on Monday.
“We all agree that the only solution to end this tragedy is through a negotiated political settlement that meets the aspirations of the women and men of Yemen,” Martin Griffiths said in a press release.
“I believe this is the time for decisions. This is the time for responsible leadership. I finally reiterate my call on the parties to seize the opportunity that now exists and to negotiate in good faith without preconditions …”, he added.
Griffiths said the diplomatic negotiation process in Yemen had reached a “critical moment”.
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The UN diplomat said Yemen’s humanitarian needs should be given priority.
“I think we must first respond to critical humanitarian needs and build trust between the parties.
“We together hope that an agreement on all these humanitarian measures will create an enabling environment for the parties to quickly engage in inclusive peace talks under the auspices of the United Nations to end the conflict in a lasting and comprehensive manner”, he added.
Griffiths met with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and US Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking in Berlin earlier today to discuss UN efforts for a nationwide ceasefire.
Discussions also focused on confidence-building measures between the parties to the conflict and a return to the political process.
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Following the meeting with the German Foreign Minister, the two special envoys were to participate in a virtual meeting of senior government officials in the so-called P5 plus 4 format (five UN veto powers plus Germany, the Sweden, Kuwait and the EU).
Yemen has been in the throes of violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels invaded much of the country, including the capital Sana’a. The crisis escalated in 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back the Houthi territorial gains.
The conflict in Yemen has so far claimed the lives of at least 233,000 people, according to UN estimates, and millions more are at risk of starvation and in need of humanitarian assistance.