The United Nation’s special envoy to Yemen is vying for parties to the civil war to enter peace talks in Oman, Gulf News reported yesterday.
In a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Martin Griffiths said Oman has a crucial role to play for the success of peace negotiations over the Yemen civil war. Griffiths is currently travelling between Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman in a bid to bring leaders to the peace table.
“I am quite certain that the collective vision, what I have been hearing during my visits, is the vision of peace. Peace sooner, rather than later,” Griffiths said.
Griffiths met a Houthi delegation in Oman’s capital Muscat last Saturday, in addition to members of the General People’s Congress (GPC) party, the National reported. The UN envoy seeks to clear up his predecessor’s mistakes who was seen as biased against the Houthis. The group’s principal negotiator, Mohammad Abdel-Salam travelled to Muscat in late January for peace talks – it is unclear if he has returned to Yemen since.
However, prospects of peace are questionable, as the Houthis announced their plan to disrupt Saudi Arabia’s economic entities by using newly upgraded missile systems last week and a Houthi missile killed one person and injured two others in Saudi for the first time.
In another incident, the Houthis fired and injured a Saudi Aramco oil tanker off the west coast of Yemen in the Red Sea. No personnel were injured.
The Yemen civil war erupted in 2014 when the Houthis took over control of the capital Sana’a. Back then, the internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi requested a coalition of Arab states launch a campaign to neutralise territorial threats by the Houthis. The Saudi-led coalition officially began its operations in March 2015. More than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed in the conflict since, according to the UN.