UN envoy Griffiths arrives in Sanaa after redeployment meetings between Yemen sides

The UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said he held a "productive meeting" with Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid bin Salman on Monday in Jeddah. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 17 July 2019

UN envoy Griffiths arrives in Sanaa after redeployment meetings between Yemen sides

  • UN envoy Martin Griffiths held a "productive meeting" with Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister Prince Khalid bin Salman
  • UN Security Council votes unanimously to extend its ceasefire observation mission in Hodeidah by six months

UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in Sanaa on Tuesday, after redeployment meetings between the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia.

The UN on Monday said Yemen's warring sides have agreed on a "mechanism and new measures to reinforce the ceasefire and de-escalation" around the flashpoint port of Hodeidah, as well as technical aspects of a troop pullback.

Representatives of the Yemeni government and Houthi militia were picked up at different locations by a UN ship and held talks in the Red Sea off Yemen, the first such meeting since February, a UN statement said.

Earlier, Griffiths said he held a "productive meeting" with Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister Prince Khalid bin Salman on Monday in Jeddah.

Tweeting about the meeting, Griffiths said he discussed with Prince Khalid how to keep Yemen out of ongoing regional tensions and how to make progress in the implementation of the Stockholm agreement with the support of the Kingdom.

Also Monday, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to extend its ceasefire observation mission in Hodeidah by six months, until Jan. 15, 2020.

It also called on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to deploy a full contingent of observers "expeditiously" in the mission, which is mandated to have 75 staff but currently only has 20 on the ground.
The text adopted  Monday stressed that the UN mission should "monitor the compliance of the parties to the ceasefire in Hodeida governorate and the mutual redeployment of forces from the city of Hodeida and the ports of Hodeida, Salif and Ras Issa."
The monitors should work with the parties so that the security of the area "is assured by local security forces in accordance with Yemeni law."
It also called on all parties involved in the Hodeida Agreement to support UN efforts by ensuring the safety of the monitors and affording all personnel and supplies swift and unfettered movement.
Under the agreement made in Stockholm at the end of 2018, all warring factions were supposed to have withdrawn their troops from the strategic port city in western Yemen.
Last month, Houthi militants balked at providing visas for UN observers stationed off the coast on board a UN vessel.
*With Reuters and AFP


Saudi Arabia promoting arbitration culture to meet market needs

Saudi Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani, Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan and 37 local and foreign ministers and lecturers, as well as a top-level local and international audience, attended the conference. (SPA)
Updated 36 min 31 sec ago

Saudi Arabia promoting arbitration culture to meet market needs

  • Khayat said that the Kingdom was keen on ensuring diversity by empowering women, and by hiring arbiters from 23 states and from all continents

RIYADH: The second International Conference on Commercial Arbitration began on Monday in Riyadh under the slogan “The development of Arbitration in the Middle East and North Africa … Reality and Aspiration.”
Saudi Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani, Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan and 37 local and foreign ministers and lecturers, as well as a top-level local and international audience, attended the conference.  
Yassin bin Khalid Khayat, chairman of the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) board of directors, noted increasing international interest in conflict resolution alternatives, and calls for the adoption of steps to break the monopoly over this sector and secure diversity in it.
Khayat said that the Kingdom was keen on ensuring diversity by empowering women, and by hiring arbiters from 23 states and from all continents. He said: “To ensure the autonomy of the SCCA, members of the board of directors should not be holders of a public office. In addition, the board is the highest authority in the center, while the arbitration council enjoys full autonomy in performing its duties. In addition, a decree was issued to encourage public institutions and state-owned companies to seek arbitration by SCCA.”
Dr. Hamed Meera, SCCA executive director, said that the center had already launched a package of services and products such as emergency arbitrator, expedited arbitration procedures, protocol and arbitration platform. “Today SCCA has launched the service of selection and appointment of arbitrators channeled along four options to meet the needs of large companies that resort to services provided by it,” he said.
Due to rising demand for the center’s training programs, the time was ripe for the establishment of an academy that provided short- and long-term training programs, he said.
Dr. Nabeel A. Al-Mansour, senior vice president and general counsel and secretary of Saudi Aramco, said that the Kingdom was keen to establish an integrated system to activate the role of arbitration in the Kingdom within a competitive and fair and transparent environment.