UN envoy, Yemen president hold talks in Riyadh

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Riyadh

Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi held talks on Wednesday in Riyadh with UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. They discussed the latest developments in Yemen and prospects for achieving lasting peace in the war-torn country.
During the talks, Hadi praised UN efforts to help the Yemeni people. He also stressed the keenness of his internationally recognized government to achieve peace in accordance with the Gulf initiative, national dialogue and UN Security Council resolution 2216. The resolution demands that all parties unconditionally cease fire, and that the Houthis withdraw from all areas seized during the conflict, and relinquish arms seized from military and security institutions.
Hadi accused the Houthis and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh of rejecting calls for peace. This, he said, requires the international community to exert more pressure on them.
The envoy expressed appreciation for Hadi’s efforts to achieve peace and reduce the suffering of the Yemeni people. The meeting was attended by Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi, Yemeni deputy premier and foreign minister.
He said Hadi urged the international community to state an explicit position on the responsibility of the Houthis and Saleh loyalists in thwarting peace initiatives. Al-Mekhlafi said the rebels do not care about the suffering of the Yemeni people. Cheikh Ahmed also met Abdullatif Al-Zayani, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) secretary-general.
They discussed the latest political, security and humanitarian developments in Yemen. Al-Zayani stressed the support of the GCC countries for the envoy’s diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. The secretary-general stressed the need for the international community and humanitarian organizations to help eradicate the cholera epidemic in Yemen.
Prior to Riyadh, Cheikh Ahmed was in Oman and Jordan. The next and final leg of his regional tour will be Sanaa, where he is due to meet Houthi and pro-Saleh representatives.
The envoy is reportedly expected to unveil a plan for the strategic Yemeni port of Al-Hodeidah.—Agencies