UN envoy sets Yemen peace talks for September 6 in Geneva

The UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths plans to invite warring parties to Geneva on Sept. 6 to discuss the framework for peace talks
Updated 02 August 2018
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UN envoy sets Yemen peace talks for September 6 in Geneva

  • Martin Griffiths says talks will discuss framework for further negotiations
  • UN efforts have 'narrowed the gap' between the two sides

NEW YORK: The UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths plans to invite warring parties to Geneva on Sept. 6 to discuss a framework for peace talks.

Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday, Griffiths said the talks would also discuss confidence-building measures to end the conflict.

The last attempt to resolve the conflict through talks took place in Kuwait in 2016, but the negotiations collapsed after the Houthi militia rejected a UN peace plan.

Griffiths said his efforts in Yemen had enabled the UN to "narrow the gap between the parties" involved in the conflict.

"I am very conscious that each day costs lives which might have been saved," Griffiths said.

Earlier, Griffiths met with the UN ambassadors of the Saudi-led Arab coalition countries, including the UAE.

"The UAE continues to fully support  Mr Griffiths in his efforts to advance a settlement and enforce Security Council resolution 2216," the UAE mission to the UN tweeted. 

 

Griffiths has recently been shuttling between the warring parties to avert a coalition assault on Hodeidah, Yemen's largest port which is still held by the Houthis but surrounded by pro-government forces.

"We have tried to find a way to avoid a battle for the city and the port of Hodeidah and we are still trying," Griffiths told the council.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council: "We've hit a new sense of urgency in Yemen."

"If this is what's starting to happen, civilians are at risk, infrastructure is at risk and we as the international community have to demand that the two parties come together and understand the seriousness of this," Haley said.

She also again accused Iran of supporting the Houthis and condemned the Houthi missile attacks, which have targeted Saudi Arabia.

Asharq Al-Awsat, the sister newspaper of Arab News, reported early on Thursday that Griffiths was planning to convene the talks. The report said he was expected to use a different approach to his predecessor Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who stepped down after failing to make headway in ending the conflict.

The first round of Yemen talks were held in 2015 in Switzerland before moving to Kuwait in 2016.

The war in Yemen was ignited in 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa and forced the internationally recognized governmnet to flee. The militia then launched an offensive to capture the rest of the country from pro-government forces, sparking Saudi Arabia to lead an Arab coalition to restore the  government to power.

UN figures suggest at least 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, while a further 2 million have been displaced. 


Council of Arab Interior Ministers calls for cooperation to alleviate suffering of terrorism victims

Updated 23 April 2019
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Council of Arab Interior Ministers calls for cooperation to alleviate suffering of terrorism victims

  • Mohammed bin Ali Koman says the situation requires the cooperation of all to alleviate the suffering of the victims and their families
  • He was commemorating Arab Day to raise awareness of the pain of victims of terrorist acts

TUNIS: Not only does the harm caused by terrorist crimes affect innocent victims, it also leaves their families and communities with psychological and social pain, the Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior has said.

This situation requires the cooperation of all to alleviate the suffering of the victims and their families and help them overcome their predicament, Dr. Mohammed bin Ali Koman said.

Koman was commemorating Arab Day to raise awareness of the pain of victims of terrorist acts, held every year on April 22 by the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, member states and the League of Arab States.

“Today is an opportunity to raise awareness of the pain and tragedies of victims of terrorist attacks and encourage all initiatives undertaken by official bodies and civil society organizations to alleviate their suffering,” he said.

“The effects of terrorist crimes have exceeded aggression against human lives and property to psychological and social impacts as well as affecting families,” he said.

“Terrorist crimes result in a continuous bleeding to the heart of affected communities, especially with the terrorist media being devoted to inspiring and promoting their criminal operations, which have affected thousands of victims, including children, women and the elderly.”

He hailed the efforts of the security services in their fight against terrorism and the great improvement in reducing its crimes in recent years, expressing his sympathies for the victims and his support for their families to overcome the aftermath of these crimes.

Koman stressed that the Council of Arab Interior Ministers has taken special measures to raise awareness about the pain of victims of terrorist acts, including the development of media programs to raise security awareness and improve citizens’ contribution to countering terrorist acts in implementation of the Arab counter-terrorism strategy. This was in addition to assigning the Arab bureau for security-related information activities, which operates under the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, to prepare media programs and materials to raise awareness about the dangers of terrorist acts and the suffering they cause.

He highlighted that the council’s efforts go beyond raising awareness to taking concrete measures to support the victims of terrorist acts, including members of the Arab security services and their families.

Koman said that these efforts include the establishment of an Arab security solidarity fund to cover the expenses of medical, social, and psychological support for Arab police and security personnel and their families, in addition to the development of a model for the organizational structure of a department in the security services specializing in psychological counseling.

“The department will be operated by social workers and psychologists who have the capacity to help victims overcome the pain and tragedy of terrorism,” he said.

Koman praised the efforts of Arab countries in assisting the victims of terrorist acts and alleviating their suffering, including providing financial and moral support and providing them with treatment and privileges, such as monthly wages, scholarships for their families and medals of honors to their martyrs.

He urged public and civil society institutions to develop awareness-raising efforts through holding seminars and organizing events to remember the suffering of the victims and provide them with social, psychological and financial support.

Koman concluded by saying a prayer for the victims harmed by terrorist acts and members of the security services who died foiling terrorist crimes and fighting terrorists.