Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Talks on Yemeni economy could take place in Amman

Talks on Yemeni economy could take place in Amman

Violations of the ceasefire have been reported by both government and rebel forces.

The UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in the rebel-held capital Sanaa on Saturday, in an apparent bid to cement the fragile cease-fire in Yemen's port city of Hodeidah.

Griffiths intends to meet with leaders of the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, then go to Saudi Arabia to consult with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Riyadh.

"Mr Griffiths spent the last two days discussing with Houthi leaders what was agreed in Stockholm, he is now on his way to Riyadh to follow up on the progress", a United Nations source told The National.

The Red Sea port is the entry point for the majority of imports to Yemen, where more than 22 million people now depend on humanitarian aid to survive.

Both sides have also only taken preliminary steps to withdraw forces from the city and surrounding areas.

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Impoverished Yemen has remained dogged by violence and strife since 2014, when the Houthi rebel group overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

According to government sources affiliated with the meetings chaired by Cammert, another dispute erupted with Houthis refusing to cooperate on forming local authorities that would run the port. Houthis, according to sources with knowledge of the matter, insist on keeping coup-appointed followers assigned to administrative posts at the ports, without allowing any of the former public service employees to resume their jobs.

According to the AFP news agency, Griffiths's visit to Saudi Arabia will attempt to bring the warring sides together later this month, possibly in Kuwait, to follow up on the "progress" made at last month's talks.

A second round of negotiations between Yemen's government and Houthi rebels could be hosted "soon" in Jordanian capital Amman, a rebel leader said on Sunday after meeting the United Nations envoy.

The council is expected to hear a report from Griffiths next week, but no firm date has been decided for that meeting.

The rebels have accused the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out low-altitude flights over the city. The war between the Huthis and troops loyal to Hadi escalated in March 2015, when Hadi fled into Saudi exile and the Saudi-led coalition intervened.

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