TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC)-United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged the warring parties in Yemen to hold peace talks to find a solution to the three-year old conflict.
“I urge all parties to engage with my new Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, without delay,” Guterres told a UN conference in Geneva on Tuesday, where the global body is seeking pledges towards $3 billion in aid for war-ravaged Yemen this year.
The UN chief also called for keeping Yemen’s ports open to humanitarian and commercial cargo, particularly food, medicines, and fuel, stressing that “Sana’a airport is also a lifeline that must be kept open.”
In November 2017, Saudi Arabia announced that it was shutting down Yemen’s air, sea, and land borders. Under international pressure, Saudi Arabia reportedly eased that blockade on Yemeni ports in December last year for a 30-day period, extended it for another month, then left it in apparent limbo when it expired on February 18.
However, humanitarian officials said the Houthi-held port of Hudaydah, a major lifeline for the war-torn impoverished country, remains “a wasteland,” noting that a “de facto blockade” on the main port is still in place.