Hadi panel to study Yemen peace proposals

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths speaks during a press conference in Sanaa international airport prior to his departure on July 4th. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths speaks during a press conference in Sanaa international airport prior to his departure on July 4th. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

Yemen's President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi has formed a government committee to study proposals made by UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths before engaging in direct negotiations with the Houthis (Ansarallah).

The committee, headed by Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Dagher, was formed after Hadi and Griffiths met in Aden on Tuesday (July 10th).

During his meeting with Griffiths, Hadi stressed his own desire and the desire of the Yemeni people and Arab coalition for peace, local media reported.

"We would work on consulting with different parties to crystalise potential visions and ideas which may be in conformity with the peace's terms of reference," Griffiths said.

There will be "a special focus on humanitarian aspects at this stage", he said.

"My job now is to undertake consultations with the government of Yemen and the Houthis to lead to the point where we can resume formal negotiations," he added. "We shall do this as quickly as we can, given the humanitarian situation."

Military operation continues

On the military front, the Giant Brigades, supported by Arab coalition warplanes, on Tuesday severed the Houthis’ supply routes between al-Tuhayat, Zabid and Bait al-Faqih districts in al-Hodeidah, 26sepnews.net reported.

Shops reopened in al-Tuhayat district following its liberation from the Iran-backed Houthis, and there were celebrations welcoming the Yemeni forces, local media reported.

"Any city that rids itself of the militias has the right to celebrate, having been under bombardment and rockets for months," political researcher Abdul Salam Mohammed told Al-Mashareq.

"This shows the Houthis are ruling with blood and iron."

"Hadi’s meeting with Griffiths was aimed at discussing the UN initiative and proposals to revive peace negotiations," he said.

"He focused on the humanitarian situation and the ordeal of people [in al-Hodeidah] due to the Houthis' practices," Mohammed said.

Reviving the peace negotiations "will give the UN a chance to work for peace, but if those efforts fail, [Yemeni] forces will move", he said, noting that the UN envoy is meanwhile "moving from one place to another to discuss this initiative".

Framework for peace proposals

"The national army is achieving continuous successes on all fronts, including al-Hodeidah, where the forces liberated the centre of al-Tuhayat district two days ago," Mohammed said.

"The army is moving towards Zabid, but, in response to Griffiths' peace efforts, it stopped," he said.

Political analyst Waddah al-Jalil told Al-Mashareq the formation of a committee to study peace proposals aims to ensure Griffiths' peace proposals conform to the three terms of reference.

These are Security Council Resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative of 2011 and its executive mechanism, and the output of Yemen's National Dialogue, he said.

"The fact that Hadi met with Griffiths indicates there are signs of an agreement on resuming talks and holding a new round of negotiations," he added.

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O, God, please preserve Hodeidah!