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UN Special Envoy to Yemen concludes European tour

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed Concludes Consultations with Senior Officials in Europe, Calls for Renewed Political and Humanitarian Efforts to End Conflict and Alleviate Suffering in Yemen.
17 March 2017


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New-York --The United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, concluded today a four day visit to Europe, during which he held consultations with senior officials and Middle East experts on the situation in Yemen.

In London, the Special Envoy took part in the Quint meeting that was hosted by the British Government, and brought together representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman. The Special Envoy took the opportunity to present the UN’s concerns over the continued lack of political settlement and the humanitarian crisis facing Yemen. He also discussed potential solutions to the ongoing conflict.

In Paris, the Special Envoy met with French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault, the Elysées Senior Advisor on Middle East and senior advisors in the French Government.

He also met with German Foreign Minister Simar Gabriel in Berlin, the Foreign Policy Senior Advisor of the Chancellor, in addition to members of the German parliament and research organisations. During his visit to Berlin he participated in a round-table of Yemeni senior political and civil society leaders, organized by the Berghof Foundation, to discuss ways of ending the conflict and supporting Yemen’s return to a peaceful and orderly political transition.

The Special Envoy briefed his interlocutors on the disastrous situation in the country and his concerns over the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation. “The conflict has already killed and maimed tens of thousands and displaced many more. How many more need to lose their life before the parties assume their moral responsibility and commit to a peace process and an end to the fighting? It would be tragic if the Yemenis miss the opportunity to negotiate a political settlement when it is clearly within reach,” said the Special Envoy.

Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed urged the international community to do everything in its power to urge restraint amongst all the warring parties, help alleviate the suffering of the population and promote a negotiated political settlement to the conflict. "The framework for a comprehensive agreement that I have presented to the parties is fair and balanced. It addresses both the political and security concerns of the key stakeholders. Delaying an agreement will only lead to additional destabilizing violence and further deterioration of an already desperate humanitarian situation. It will also threaten a further expansion of terrorist attacks not only in Yemen, but elsewhere in the world,” he added.

The Special Envoy also called on the international community to provide urgent humanitarian support to Yemenis affected by the conflict. “The international community has so far provided unwavering support to our efforts, and it is imperative that the situation in Yemen remains high on everyone’s agenda. UN humanitarian agencies and their partners have developed plans to assist civilians in need, but the needs far outweigh available resources. In addition, access for humanitarian workers and supplies to many areas is being increasingly constrained further limiting the availability of aid. It is critical that all parties to the conflict meet their obligations under International Humanitarian Law to allow the rapid and unhindered passage of humanitarian relief,” the Special Envoy underscored.