UAE will 'fully support' UN political process on Yemen
The UAE said it will support UN proposals for new peace talks on Yemen, where it is heavily involved in a Saudi-led military coalition fighting Houthi rebels.
"Very productive discussions on Yemen today in [New York] with Special Envoy Martin Griffith. Reaffirmed our strong support for UN-led political process after Geneva setback," UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted early on Wednesday.
"Will fully support UN proposals for new talks soon," he tweeted, after the meeting with Griffiths on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.
The remarks came two weeks after a Houthi rebel delegation failed to attend peace talks in Geneva, citing complications in travel that they blamed on the coalition.
It came as the coalition launched a major operation to retake Hodeida in June, resulting in a sharp rise in civilian casualties as a result of coalition airstrikes and ground attacks by pro-government forces, Save the Children said.
Hodeida port is a vital lifeline for aid shipments to Yemen, the most impoverished country in the Arab world.
The UN has warned that any major fighting could halt the distribution of food, adding a further 3.5 million people to the 8 million Yemenis on the brink of famine.
"We are losing the fight against famine," Mark Lowcock, the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told the UN Security Council on Friday.
"We are already seeing pockets of famine-like-conditions, including cases where people are eating leaves because they have no other form of sustenance," he said.
Yemen Director for aid group CARE International Johan Mooij told The New Arab conditions were "rapidly deteriorating" there, and warned a full scale assault on Hodeida would see the situation get very bad very quickly.
Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in 2015 in the conflict between embattled Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is recognised by the UN, and the Houthis.
More than 10,000 people have since been killed since, in what the UN has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.