Griffiths: We're negotiating UN supervisory role in Hodeidah port

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The UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived on Friday in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, witnesses said.

On Thursday, Griffiths met with Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi to discuss logistics ahead of planned peace talks in Sweden in December.

Hodeidah is a battleground between the Iran-aligned Houthi group, which controls the city, and pro-government forces.

Meanwhile sources said that the UN is ready to play a supervisory role in managing the port of Hodeidah.

UN spokesman Rheal LeBlanc told reporters in Geneva on Friday, that Griffiths had specific ideas about managing the port that he would present to the parties to the conflict.

“As he (Griffiths) has said many times, the UN stands ready to work with the parties on a negotiated agreement, to grant a supervisory role for the UN in managing the port, which would protect the port itself from potential destruction, and preserve the main humanitarian pipeline to the people of Yemen,” LeBlanc said.

Griffiths told the UN Security Council last week that Yemen's parties had given "firm assurances" they were committed to attending peace talks he hopes to convene in Sweden before the end of the year.

Griffiths has arrived Wednesday in Sanaa and met with Houthi officials, and traveled to Hodeidah, and from there he will be traveling to the Jordanian capital, Amman” according to Russian Sputnik news agency.

The agency confirmed that Griffiths will not meet any military parties in Hodeidah, explaining that “it is not within the competence of the Special Envoy to meet military leaders in Hodeidah, as he is a UN commissioner to resume the political process.”

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