UN says ready to help run vital Yemen port

Tasnim – The United Nations said on Friday it was ready to help supervise Yemen’s vital Hudaydah port to protect it from “potential destruction”, as its envoy met Houthi Ansarullah movement leaders.

“We discussed … how the United Nations can take a leading role in operating the port, we have to do this quickly through discussions with all the parties,” UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said after his meetings, Reuters reported.

“We think that by playing this role we would help preserve a lifeline to the people in Yemen,” he said.

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

The aim was to “protect the port itself from potential destruction, and preserve the main humanitarian pipeline to the people of Yemen,” LeBlanc said.

Griffiths arrived earlier in the day in Hudaydah, the latest focus of the war between the Houthi movement, which controls the city, and mercenaries backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The port is an important supply line to capital Sana’a, located in mountains to the northeast of Hudaydah, and to much of the country.

Griffiths told the UN Security Council last week that Yemen’s warring sides had given “firm assurances” they were committed to attending peace talks he hopes to convene in Sweden in December.