(Part 1) Special Envoy for Yemen and Swedish Foreign Minister on intra-Yemeni consultations

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The UN top official for Yemen said today “let there be no doubt that Yemen’s future is in the hands of those of us in this room” as the representatives of Yemen’s warring parties sat together for the first time in UN-led peace talks in Sweden.
Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen said in his opening speech “after two and a half years without a formal political process, the convening of the two delegations here is an important milestone.”
The peace talks are taking place in Rimbo, Sweden and are supposed to set the framework for negotiations on a future peace agreement.
Griffiths said “based on my consultations with the parties and many other experienced and knowledgeable Yemenis I believe that we can also here, in the coming days find solutions on specific issues that will improve cooperation and reduce suffering.”
The Special Envoy also announced, “the signing of an agreement on the exchange of prisoners, detainees, the missing, the forcibly detained and individuals placed under the house arrest” and said This is a huge tribute to those here present and of enormous importance to the many, many thousands of families who seek the return of those currently lost to them.”
The three year-long conflict in Yemen has devastated the country’s economy and brought its population on a brink of famine.
According to the United Nations, 22.2 million people in Yemen need some kind of humanitarian assistance.
In closing, Griffiths said “let there be no doubt that Yemen’s future is in the hands of those of us in this room. The country’s institutions are at risk; the fragmentation of the country is of enormous concern and we must act now before we lose control of the future of Yemen. You have all expressed your commitment to a political solution. The coming days are a milestone, it’s an important, a significant event. Don’t waver. Let none of waver in spite of the challenges that we may face.”
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