Oman plays a pivotal role in helping the people of Yemen: UN special envoy to Yemen

Muscat: The United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, believes Oman plays a “pivotal role” in helping the people of Yemen.

Martin Griffiths affirmed the importance of the neighbourly relations between Oman with Yemen, pointing out that they have long history of dialogue and openness.

On Sunday, Griffiths met with Yousuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs to discuss the Yemen crisis and find solutions to end the crisis in the war-torn country.

It is the first visit in his capacity as the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Yemen.

He noted that the UN Secretary General is committed to solving the conflict in Yemen.

Speaking at a press conference held at the foreign ministry, Griffiths highlighted his experience working in Yemen as a special commissioner to refugees.

He said he is “committed to ensuring peace” and that he is “listening ot everyone”.

The special envoy replaced outgoing envoy Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad, who like his predecessors before him, was unable to secure a peace deal between Yemen’s warring parties.

Griffiths is currently shuffling between Riyadh, Yemen and Oman hoping to get the parties on board for future talks.

He plans to submit a briefing to the UN Security Council about his visit in 10 to 12 days time.

“I am quite certain that the collective vision, what I have been hearing during my visits, is the vision of peace. Peace sooner, rather than later,” he said.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition entered the Yemeni war in 2015 just months after an Iran-backed Al Houthi coup forced internationally-recognised Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of power.

He later was able to escape house arrest and flee to Aden where he temporarily shifted government headquarters.

Since then, the coalition has gained back 86 per cent of Yemeni territory but major population centres still remain under Al Houthi control.

Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of illegally smuggling weapons into Yemen to sustain Al Houthi war efforts.

In December, one such Iranian-made ballistic missile was fired towards Riyadh for the first time in the three-year war.

Although it was intercepted, Riyadh called it an ‘act of war’.

The war has cost the lives of thousands of Yemenis and pushed the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine.