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UN ready to help run vital Yemen port in danger of destruction

File photo: Hodeidah port Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Hodeidah, Yemen Nov 24, 2018, 08.26 AM (IST)

The United Nations said on Friday (November 23) it was ready to help supervise Yemen's vital Hodeidah port to protect it from "potential destruction", as its envoy met managers of the Houthi-held harbour.

Western countries are pressing for a ceasefire and renewed peace efforts to end the country's three-year-old conflict amid fears that half the population, some 14 million people, could soon be on the brink of famine.

UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths said that having such a role would "preserve the essential humanitarian pipeline which starts here and serves the people of Yemen."

Griffiths arrived in Hodeidah, the latest focus of the war between the Houthi group, which controls the city, and pro-government forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The port is an important supply line to the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, located in mountains to the northeast of Hodeidah, and to much of the country.

Griffiths told the UN Security Council last week that Yemen's warring sides had given "firm assurances" they were committed to attending peace talks he hopes to convene in Sweden in December.

Story highlights

The port is an important supply line to the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, located in mountains to the northeast of Hodeidah, and to much of the country.