In his last briefing, Martin Griffiths, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, told the UN Security Council that “I hope very, very much indeed … that the efforts undertaken by the Sultanate of Oman, as well as others, but the Sultanate of Oman in particular, following my visits to Sanaa and Riyadh, will bear fruit”.
Griffith also told that after three years of efforts to end the conflict in Yemen, “the parties have yet to overcome their differences.”
Last week, an Omani delegation visited Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, and met with Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the Houthi group’s leader. Oman has lately increased its support for UN shuttle diplomacy and has met with Saudi officials many times in an attempt to urge both sides to agree on a ceasefire agreement.
Following these diplomatic steps, Griffiths told the reporters after the briefing that “I’m going to be in Riyadh tomorrow, where I believe we will hear more from the Omanis themselves.”
Martin Griffiths told the Council that “Yemeni men, women and children are suffering every day because people with power have missed the opportunities presented to them to make the necessary concessions to end the war”.
Oman, known for its mediatory role in regional conflicts, shares borders with Yemen and Saudi Arabia and has good relations with Iran. Acknowledged as a close US ally, Oman comes into prominence as a suitable actor who could facilitate peace talks for Yemen due to all these features it possesses.