Yemen says new UN envoy changes nothing

August 10, 2021 - 10:12

The head of Yemen’s national negotiating delegation, Mohammed Abdulsalam, says the appointment of a new UN envoy to the country does not mean anything.

Abdulsalam says there is no point in entering talks with the official, unless there is an explicit declaration to stop the aggression and lift the deadly siege.

He called for the reopening of Yemen’s airports and ports first as a priority saying this is an urgent humanitarian necessity.  

Abdulsalam also warned that Saudi Arabia and it allies, waging war on Yemen, must acknowledge the suffering and destruction caused by their aggression and siege. He says they must be aware that the continuation of their intransigence will backfire.

Abdulsalam also denounced the United Nations’ role in the war saying it is an “accomplice” in the crime of closing Sana’a airport and the port of Hodeidah, as well as the siege imposed on the country as the world body has failed to live up to its responsibility.

“The continuation of the siege and the closure of Sana’a International Airport and the port of Hodeidah is a crime in which the United Nations is a participant, for it has allowed the aggressive forces to keep on with their aggression and crimes against an entire population” Abdulsalam said.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, named Swedish diplomat Hans Grundberg as his new Yemen envoy. 

Grundberg replaces Martin Griffiths who (by his own account) failed at meditation efforts over the past three years to end the nearly seven year war on Yemen.

Abdulsalam says a meeting would be pointless as Grundberg "has nothing in his hands". He added that there has been zero progress following last month's visit to Riyadh by the U.S. envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking.

This comes as ground battles continue in Yemen's gas-rich Ma’arib region, Saudi Arabia’s last stronghold in the country. 

The war which Saudi Arabia waged on its southern neighbor, has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

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