Yemen: Saudi-Backed Coalition Halts al-Hudaydah Offensive Under Western Pressure



United Nations special envoy Martin Griffiths is trying to salvage talks between the warring Yemeni parties after the last round in September collapsed when the Houthis did not show up.

As the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) prepares to ramp up aid to Yemen, in the face of the world's worst humanitarian crisis, David Beasley, Executive-Director of the agency, issued a heartfelt plea for all warring parties to end "this terrible war".

The United Nations special envoy to Yemen will on Friday unveil plans for peace talks to be held in Stockholm at the end of the month as he updates the Security Council on his work to find a political solution to nearly four years of war.

Yemen's internationally-backed government and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly accused the Houthi rebels of using Hodeidah's port to smuggle in Iranian weapons.

"We welcome early convening of UN-led talks in Sweden", Gargash, tweeted.

Mr Griffiths is expected to tell the UN's most powerful body that the next round of negotiations will focus on two issues: confidence-building measures and establishing a framework for a political settlement to end the conflict.

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The armed conflict in Yemen continues with March 2014. The city is now controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthis, but a five-month advance has readied the Saudi-led coalition for a ground assault on the city.

Hodeidah has become a key target for the Sunni Muslim coalition, which has been trying to oust the Houthis since 2015 after they took control of the capital Sanaa and overthrew the government. The Rome-based agency prepared to ramp up its emergency food assistance to cover 12 million people, Efe news reported.

Speaking in Hudaydah, Mr. Beasley emphasized the essential role that the port plays in ensuring this aid reaches those in need: "I am here to send a clear message to the world that we need to protect this port at all costs, make sure that it can function at the highest capacity, because if we don't then people are going to die".

However, the warring parties will have to set aside deep mistrust in order to meet.

The Yemeni army has destroyed more than 2000 Houthi mines in three days only in Hayran district alone, following big advances in the fifth military area in Hajjah governorate.

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