By Agence France-Presse
The United Arab Emirates’ troop drawdown in Yemen is part of a “push towards peace” by a key member of the Saudi-led coalition, the UN envoy to the war-torn country said Tuesday.
The UAE announced earlier this month it was drawing down and redeploying forces in Yemen, where a years-long conflict between the government-backed by the Arab coalition — and Iran-aligned Huthi rebels has pushed the country to the brink of famine.
“The reason those redeployments happened… was in order to make a push towards peace,” the United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, told reporters in Geneva.
“We need to take advantage of it,” he added.
The UAE is a key partner in the coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the internationally-recognized government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
In a Washington Post opinion piece published Monday, the UAE junior foreign minister Anwar Gargash said Huthis should see the move as a “confidence-building measure to create new momentum to end the conflict”.
Griffiths said the parties to the conflict “continue to insist that they want a political solution and that a military solution is not available”.
“I believe that this war is eminently resolvable,” he added.
Yemen’s war has triggered what the UN has repeatedly called “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”
The conflict has also forced some 3.3 million people from their homes.