GULF

Report of UN ‘in contact with Houthis via Hezbollah’, UN envoy denies

"A number of international experts working on the Yemeni affair visited Beirut more than once and met with a number of Houthi officials." (File photo: AFP)

Diplomats in New York told Lebanese daily An-Nahar that the office of UN envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has opened a “second” line of contact with the Houthis via the Almasirah television channel that broadcasts from Beirut’s Dahiyeh with the support of the Hezbollah militia.

According to the daily, a diplomat said that a number of international experts working on the Yemeni affair visited Beirut more than once and met with a number of Houthi officials.

Meanwhile, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric acknowledged there is a second line of contact for communication between the UN special envoy and some Houthi followers in Lebanon.

Dujarric said these meetings are not official and are usually utilized for mediation efforts between the conflicting parties.

He added that there constant phone calls between the special envoy and his team and the Houthis.

Dujarric noted that Ould Cheikh “is confronting difficulties because top Houthi officials currently refuse to directly cooperate with him and prefer the second line of contact in Beirut’s Dahiyeh” for unclear reasons.

UN denies

In response, the UN Envoy to Yemen’s office has categorically denied An-Nahar’s report saying Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s was himself misquoted.

For his turn, Dujarric told Al Arabiya’s UN correspondent that he was “misquoted and misinterpreted” by An-Nahar’s report.

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Last Update: Friday, 13 October 2017 KSA 16:03 - GMT 13:03
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