UN’s Yemen Envoy Visits Iran After Biden Pivot on Military Aid
(Bloomberg) -- The United Nations’ special envoy for Yemen has embarked on his first peacekeeping mission to Iran since President Joe Biden withdrew U.S. support for a Saudi Arabian-led military campaign against Yemeni rebels.
Martin Griffiths, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday, will meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other officials during a two-day visit, according to a statement by the envoy’s office. He has been trying to broker a cease-fire between the Yemeni government, which has been supported by the Saudi-led coalition, and Houthi rebels backed by Iran.
“The visit is part of the Special Envoy’s diplomatic efforts to support a negotiated political solution to the conflict in Yemen that meets the aspirations of the Yemeni people,” the statement said. “The Special Envoy’s immediate priority is to support agreement between the parties to the conflict on a nationwide cease-fire, urgent humanitarian measures and the resumption of the political process.”
Griffiths’ visit coincided with a renewed Houthi campaign in oil-rich Marib province, underscoring the challenges the deadlocked UN-led peace process faces. Government forces said they intercepted a drone and that a missile hit the provincial capital.
The Saudi-led offensive was launched in March 2015 to restore the government of Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, fueling one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises without dislodging the rebels. Last week Biden announced that U.S. military aid to the offensive would end, saying the conflict had created a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.”
Yemen is strategically significant because it lies on a waterway that is a conduit for much of the world’s oil.
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