The US reiterated late Wednesday its call for all parties to support UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths by “immediately ceasing hostilities and engaging in direct talks aimed at ending the conflict.
“We welcome the UN Special Envoy’s statement that the Houthis and the Republic of Yemen Government are committed to attending the consultations in Sweden, and we call on the parties to follow through on that commitment,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.
She stressed that “all parties must not delay talks any longer, or insist on travel or transport conditions that call into question good faith intentions to look for a solution or to make necessary concessions.
“The time for direct talks and building mutual confidence is now,” she insisted.
Nauert noted “we encourage all combatants to abide by their statements declaring a commitment to cease hostilities and call on those parties to not use any period of truce to reinforce military positions, implant mines, or in any way escalate the conflict.” She added that the US welcomes the Saudi-led Coalition’s announcement of a $500-million contribution “to address the food security crisis”.
“In addition to this, Hudaydah port must be turned over to a neutral party to accelerate the distribution of aid to address the acute humanitarian crisis, and to prevent the port from being used to smuggle weapons and contraband into the country or to finance the Houthi militia,” she said.
She stressed that “it is time to end this conflict, replace conflict with compromise, and allow the Yemeni people to heal through peace and reconstruction”.
US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis confirmed that peace negotiations on Yemen will be held in Sweden early December.