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Ould Cheick: No Direct Talks at Present | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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UN Secretary-General Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed speaks to the media after the Yemen peace talks in Switzerland in Bern December 20, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

London- UN special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed described the new UN roadmap in Hodeidah as the “prelude and not the target,” and said that it was the start of a comprehensive solution to the Yemeni crisis.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Ould Cheikh asserted that “at present, there are no direct talks between the Yemeni parties,” despite speaking of “signs” of upcoming meetings hosted by Oman based on reports published by the Omani official news agency.

The UN envoy called for finding a solution to the issue of the port of Hodeidah, where there is a need to prevent the occurrence of a military confrontation.

“We do not ask the warring parties to hand over Hodeidah to the legitimate government, but only to place the port in the hands of a third party from the UN that could manage it,” he said.

Ould Cheikh also asserted that any comprehensive solution to the crisis is to terminate the war in Yemen. “However, we currently speak about solving certain issues, such as the issue of the salaries, the airport of Sana’a, still stressing on the need to find a comprehensive solution,” he said.

The UN envoy said that his current trip to Oman came in coordination with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who called on kicking off a new regional tour and finding a solution to the Yemeni crisis.

Ould Cheikh said there is a push to hold new meetings and talks between the Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress (GPC) party of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, to discuss the UN initiative.

The UN envoy said he is travelling to Jordan where he will meet with Jordanian King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, in addition to an expected visit to Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi to inform him about the new initiative.