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  • UN envoy meets Yemen president in Riyadh

    UN envoy meets Yemen president in Riyadh File photo UN envoy meets Yemen president in Riyadh

    The United Nations envoy for Yemen held talks Tuesday with the war-torn country s president in Riyadh, as he sought to shore up a shaky truce in key port Hodeida.

    Diplomat Martin Griffiths met with the Yemeni authorities after seeing Huthi rebels in their stronghold Sanaa on a tour aimed at ensuring both sides make good on a ceasefire deal agreed in Sweden last month.

    Yemen s internationally recognised leader Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi expressed his "support for the efforts and work" of Griffiths at the talks in the Saudi capital, the Saba news agency reported.

    The head of the president s office Abdullah al-Alimi wrote on Twitter that Hadi remained committed to the Sweden accord and stood ready to open up "all humanitarian access".

    Griffiths is set to brief the UN Security Council Wednesday on the state of the ceasefire deal and his latest efforts to end Yemen s nearly four-year war, diplomats have said.

    Rebel-held Hodeida was for months the main front line in the Yemen war after government forces supported by Saudi Arabia and its allies launched an offensive to capture it in June.

    The Red Sea port is the key point of entry for humanitarian aid and supplies to Yemen, where millions are on the brink of famine as the war has grinded on.

    The United Nations has said that the truce has largely held in the city since the agreement came into force on December 18.

    Griffiths is looking to push on with steps agreed by the warring sides in Sweden, including the redeployment of rival forces from Hodeida.

    He is also hoping to bring the sides together again for a new round of peace talks later this month.

    The war between the Huthis and troops loyal to the government escalated in March 2015, when President Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia and the Riyadh-led coalition intervened.

    The conflict has unleashed the world s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, which says 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine.

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