Changing Griffiths Won’t Settle Yemen War, Says UK Ambassador Aaron
FRI, 05/21/2021 - 11:44
Changing UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths will not settle the six-year conflict there. Still, his appointment as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator fulfills the diplomat’s “dream,” the UK ambassador to Yemen, Michael Aaron, said.
“We need Houthis to be serious. Is the current plan a failure? Maybe. Accordingly; we need new efforts, but the envoy is no problem,” said Aaron, adding that the solution lies in the hands of Yemenis.
Commenting on the UN’s last week announcement appointing Griffiths as a humanitarian coordinator, Aaron said: “The new position is his dream.”
“He wants it because it is an excellent new position,” said the British diplomat while noting that Griffiths’ new appointment was an advancement.
“I think that three years is enough,” Aaron noted, adding that the diplomacy in Yemen now needs new efforts from another person.
The selection of a new envoy is in the hands of the UN Secretary-General and Security Council, he reaffirmed, while adding that Griffiths will travel to Jordan and Saudi Arabia respectively in the coming ten days.
However, Aaron ruled out the possibility of Griffiths meeting with Houthis after the Iran-backed group having first refused to meet him in Muscat.
As for who will succeed Griffiths, he laughed off rumors of his nomination for the post.
“No, I am not among the candidates for the position,” he confirmed.
When asked about what a new envoy could bring to the table of negotiations for resolving the conflict in battle-weary Yemen, Aaron said: “I think the only thing that can help solve the problem is Houthis admitting a settlement is better than a protracted war.”
“I do not think that Houthis want the war to continue forever under any circumstance,” he noted, reaffirming that Houthis are also Yemeni citizens, despite their seeming misunderstanding of current conditions and politics.