UN Envoy Invites Warring Parties to Yemen Talks on September 6

UN Envoy Invites Warring Parties to Yemen Talks on September 6

UN Envoy Invites Warring Parties to Yemen Talks on September 6

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Sunni Muslim allies have been fighting in Yemen with Western backing for more than three years against the Iran-aligned Houthis.

The operation continues despite the United Nations warnings of a possible humanitarian catastrophe.

An EU statement on Saturday highlighted the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, which recently witnessed a bloody assault that killed at least 55 people and was blamed on air strikes by the Saudi-Emirati coalition fighting there.

He said the time is long past to resume the political process, and after consulting the internationally recognized government and Houthi Shiite rebels he plans to invite them for consultations in Geneva on september 6, including to discuss a framework for peace negotiations.

Yemen's war has killed almost 10,000 people and triggered what the United Nations calls the world's largest single humanitarian crisis, with more than eight million Yemenis at risk of starvation.

The talks, to be held in Geneva on September 6, were announced on Thursday by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, who said that a "political solution was possible" to end a conflict ongoing since 2015.

Top Photo | Yemeni tribesman employed by the Saudi-led coalition pose in front of a tank in al Faza near Hodeida on June 1, 2018.

Ging said the ports of Hodeida and Saleef remain open and operational.

"While the exact circumstances around the ground explosions are still unknown, this lack of respect for civilian life and civilian property is reprehensible", said Johannes Bruwer, head of the delegation in Yemen for the International Committee of the Red Cross, in a statement Friday.

"We have tried to find a way to avoid a battle for the city and the port of Al Hudaydah, and we are still trying", he told the council, describing the Red Sea as a platform for a "war theatre".

"The Houthi militia are behind killing of civilians in Hodeidah on Thursday", he said.

Hodeidah has been under the control of the Houthis since 2014, and was responsible for delivering 70 percent of Yemen's imports - mostly humanitarian aid, food and fuel. The United States, along with France and Great Britain, supports the Saudi coalition; Russian Federation has sided with Iran.

On a positive note, Griffiths said he was "greatly encouraged by the common desire of the parties to have prisoners of war released", adding "I want to see this moving forward before we meet in Geneva".

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