U.N. ENVOY ARRIVES IN YEMEN FOR TALKS WITH HOUTHI REBELS

SANAA, Yemen- United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, on Wednesday, for talks with Houthi rebels, over peace process with the government.

The Yemeni government has demanded for a full withdrawal of the rebels, from the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, as condition to stop its offensive and resume peace talks, Yemeni Foreign Minister, Khaled al-Yamani, was quoted as saying. The minister said, government forces are ready to advance into the port city, if the mediation fails.

Meanwhile, the Houthis said, they have proposed handing over the management of the port to the United Nations, but would defend the city, in case of any military attack, according to a statement aired by the group-run Al Masirah TV, on Wednesday.

On Jun 13, the Yemeni government forces, backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, began an all-out offensive to retake the strategic port city.

Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates declared a pause in military operations inside Hodeidah, to support the UN envoy's peace efforts, which is aimed at convincing the rebels to withdraw from the city.

The UN official said, Hodeidah seaport is operational, but roads leading to Hodeidah airport and seaport, as well as, the Houthi-controlled main road, remain blocked by sand and concrete barriers.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK