UN envoy arrives in Yemen to push Hodeidah truce

Martin Griffiths is scheduled to hold talks in Sanaa with Houthi leaders and will later travel to the Saudi capital Riyadh to meet Yemeni government officials. (AFP)
Updated 05 January 2019
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UN envoy arrives in Yemen to push Hodeidah truce

  • The UN is hoping to bring the warring sides together later this month, possibly in Kuwait, to follow up on the progress made at December's talks in Stockholm
  • The UN Security Council is expected to hear a report from Griffiths next week, but no date has been set for that meeting

SANAA: The UN envoy for Yemen arrived in the capital Sanaa on Saturday for talks to shore up a ceasefire in the country's lifeline port city of Hodeidah, an AFP photographer said.
Martin Griffiths is scheduled to hold talks in Sanaa with Houthi leaders and will later travel to the Saudi capital Riyadh to meet Yemeni government officials.

He will also meet in the Houthi-held capital with retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert, who has been appointed by the UN to head the truce monitoring team.
Griffiths' visit comes as the ceasefire in Hodeidah was generally holding, although there have been intermittent clashes with both sides blaming each other.
Yemen's government has written to the UN Security Council to accuse the Houthi militia of failing to comply with the ceasefire, while the rebels have accused the Arab coalition of carrying out low-altitude flights over the city.
The United Nations is hoping to bring the warring sides together later this month, possibly in Kuwait, to follow up on the progress made at December's talks in Stockholm, diplomats have said.
The UN Security Council is expected to hear a report from Griffiths next week, but no date has been set for that meeting.
The war between the Houthis and troops loyal to the internationally-recognised government escalated in March 2015, when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile and the Arab coalition intervened.
The conflict has unleashed the world's worst humanitarian crisis according to the UN, which says 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine.


Iranian official in surprise visit to Lebanon

Updated 18 July 2019
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Iranian official in surprise visit to Lebanon

  • Some of the threats made by the Zionist enemy are not in favor of the region’s security, Abdollahian says

BEIRUT: “Lebanon must be kept out of all regional crises,” said Iran’s Shoura Council assistant speaker for international affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, during a surprise visit to Beirut on Wednesday.

“We say at the top of our voice that Iran and its allies will not allow the Zionist entity and the US to damage the region’s security.”

Following his meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Abdollahian said that Tehran “is convinced that the security of Lebanon is the security of the region and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Abdollahian added that “some of the threats made by the Zionist enemy are not in favor of the region’s security.”

He described his talks with Berri as “good and constructive.”

“We will not allow Israel, US to interfere with regional security.”

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s Shoura Council official

Abdollahian said: “We have come today to reaffirm that Iran fully supports the people, army, resistance and government of Lebanon, and we look forward to developing relations between our two countries until they reach the highest levels.”

He said he believes that the statements of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are for “domestic consumption,” accusing him of “making some moves in the region that are not in his favor.”

Netanyahu responded to a message from Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday by threatening Hezbollah during Israel’s Cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu said: “Let me be clear that if Hezbollah dares to commit an act of stupidity and attack Israel, we will deal a crushing military blow on Lebanon. But unlike Nasrallah, I do not intend to detail our plans. It would be enough to recall that, for years, Nasrallah dug terror tunnels, and we demolished them within a few days.”