UN envoy in Riyadh to lay groundwork for Yemen talks

Griffiths will meet with Yemeni President Hadi. (AFP)
Updated 26 November 2018

UN envoy in Riyadh to lay groundwork for Yemen talks

  • The meetings take place ahead of the planned peace negotiations in Sweden

RIYADH: Martin Griffiths, a UN special envoy, will hold wide-ranging talks with top Yemeni officials including Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Riyadh on Monday.

The meetings take place ahead of the planned peace negotiations in Sweden early next month that aims to find a political solution for the strife in that war-torn country. 

He will also hold consultations with Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani and possibly with a few officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“Griffiths will meet with Yemeni President Hadi and Foreign Minister Al-Yamani as well as other officials in Riyadh on Sunday and Monday,” Maged Ali Fadail, Yemen’s deputy minister of human rights, told Arab News. 

He said Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, head of the Houthi militia’s Higher Revolutionary Committee, met in Sanaa with the UN envoy on Saturday.

Griffiths said he discussed with Houthi militias “how the UN could contribute to keeping the peace in the key port city of Hodeidah.” 

Fayyadh Noman, the undersecretary of the Yemeni Information Ministry, said: “The Yemeni government’s delegation is ready to go to Sweden and has full powers to hold fruitful consultations. But we hope the militia’s delegation has full rights as well. It should not keep us waiting for hours for their reply from Sanaa and Tehran to any proposals by the UN envoy.” 

Noman expects Griffiths to specify the date for consultations during his meetings in Riyadh. 

According to reports, the visit of the UN envoy is significant keeping in view the proposed peace talks aimed at ending the war in Yemen, which have been set for early December in Sweden.


King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

Updated 21 November 2019

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

  • Saudi Arabia has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies, king says
  • Kingdom also welcomed US decision to return Iran's Fordow nuclear facility to its sanctions list

RIYADH: Iran should abandon its expansionist ideology that has only “harmed” its own people, Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday, following violent street protests in the Islamic republic.

A wave of demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit country on Friday after an announcement that petrol prices would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” the king told the consultative Shoura Council.

“The kingdom has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies,” King Salman said, quoted by the foreign ministry, reiterating that Riyadh does not seek war but is “ready to defend its people.”

A satellite image from Sept. 15, 2017, of the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Washington's decision to return the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran to the sanctions list. 

Washington said on Monday that it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. 

“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero ... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.