Yemen's Minister of Religious Endowments and Guidance Mohammed Eida Shabiba has slammed Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths as he was not pleased with the US designation of Houthi militia as a terror group, Yemen Shabab reported on Friday.
Speaking at the UN Security Council, Griffiths expressed his extreme concern about the impact of the US' decision to designate Ansar Allah – the Houthis – as a foreign terrorist organisation, noting that this would have a "chilling effect" on his efforts to bring the Yemeni parties together.
On his Twitter account, the Yemeni minister wrote: "Griffiths is an envoy of a Shia imam, not a UN envoy," referring to the religious sect of the Houthis who are inspired by their imams.
The remarks by Griffiths sparked a wide-ranging critical campaign among Yemenis as he was accused of siding with the Houthis and ignoring the plight of the Yemenis.
On Monday, the US designated the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organisation.
The Yemeni government welcomed this designation and considered it a "positive" step towards stopping Houthi terror crimes and heinous acts against Yemenis.