UN envoy, France urge restarting Yemen peace talks

UN envoy to Yemen and France said Yemen’s two warring sides must reach a ‘permanent political solution’ to end the conflict

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Yemen’s UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault urged on Monday to reinstate dialogue and restart peace efforts between Yemen’s warring sides during a joint press conference in Paris.

Ayrault called on the Yemeni sides to turn to “dialogue” for resolving the ongoing conflict that has plunged that country into what the UN describes as a serious humanitarian crisis.

Speaking in French, the UN envoy also urged all parties to respect international law and to reach a “permanent political solution” to end the conflict that began in March last year.

He said those involved in the war to take “necessary measures to protect civilians and the country’s infrastructure.”

Yemen peace talks held in Kuwait ended in August this year with no breakthrough. Since then, the Yemeni warring sides have escalated their confrontation with the Iran-backed Houthi militias and their allies loyal to deposed Ali Abdullah Saleh, forming a political committee to administer the country, soon after the peace talks ended.

Meanwhile, earlier on Monday before the meeting between the two officials took place, state-owned Saudi Press Agency reported that an official source denounced the Houthis’ attack on a US Navy destroyer, saying such “terrorist” acts would expose international navigation to “danger,”

The source, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said the “systematic” attack by these Iran-backed militias is to target trade near the Strait of Bab el-Mandab.

The comments came after Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Abdullah al-Mouallimi, submitted a letter to the President of the Security Council, Vitaly Churkin, in which it expressed deep regret about an attack that took place during funeral ceremony in Sanaa that killed more than 140 people on Saturday.

“We wish to reiterate our full respect, commitment and compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” the letter obtained by Al Arabiya News Channel read.

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