ADEN: The United Nations’ Yemen envoy arrived in Riyadh on Monday as part of efforts to convene December peace talks between the internationally recognized government and Houthi militia.
Martin Griffiths’ visit comes as fighting eased around the Houthi-held port of Hodeidah, a vital lifeline for imports and aid, which has been the target of a Yemeni military offensive backed by the Arab Coaltion, whioch includes Saudi Arabia.
Fighting had intensified in early November as coalition-backed loyalist forces attempted to enter Hodeidah, but calm returned after Griffiths arrived in Yemen on Wednesday.
A oalition spokesman said on Monday that efforts are continuing towards peace negotiations expected to take place in Sweden, despite efforts by the Iran-backed Houthis to block them..
The UN said the envoy, who also visited Hodeidah last week to assess the humanitarian situation, is due to hold talks with Yemen’s legitimate government in Riyadh on Monday.
Military officials quoted by the state-run Saba news agency on Sunday evening said the government forces foiled a Houthi “infiltration attempt” into a camp in Hays province, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Hodeidah.
The Houthis said they had detonated an explosive device near the eastern entrance of Hodeidah, “destroying a (pro-government) military vehicle... killing and wounding soldiers inside,” Houthi-run Al-Masirah reported on Monday.
But pro-government military officials told AFP on Monday that government forces’ operations in the east and south of the Red Sea city had been suspended.