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UN envoy expects joint declaration in Yemen within weeks

(Xinhua)    10:37, October 16, 2020

Photo taken on Oct. 15, 2020 shows a view of the United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in Yemen at the UN headquarters in New York. (Eskinder Debebe/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths on Thursday expressed the hope that a comprehensive joint declaration by the Yemeni parties will be signed within weeks.

Griffiths said he is continuing with the Yemeni parties on the text of a joint declaration, which includes a nationwide cease-fire, specific economic and humanitarian measures to improve the lives of Yemenis, and the resumption of the political process.

United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths (on the screen) briefs the Security Council meeting on the situation in Yemen at the UN headquarters in New York, on Oct. 15, 2020. (Eskinder Debebe/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)

"My view is that we are getting closer and closer to eliminating the issues of contention, and we need to get it over the line. The Yemenis can't wait. We need to get it there," he told reporters in New York via a video link after his briefing to the Security Council.

"I think we need to get it over the line within weeks, not months," he said.

"I am always being criticized for making predictions and my colleagues are always telling me to be careful and they're quite right. But I think that is what we're looking at, and I say that because I know what the parties think of the specifics. And I know how we can bridge the gap between them and meet their aspirations. So it's weeks, not months. I hope, (within) this year."

Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi, permanent representative of Yemen to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in Yemen at the UN headquarters in New York, on Oct. 15, 2020. (Evan Schneider/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)

The talks on a joint declaration started in March following UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' appeal for a cease-fire in Yemen.

Griffiths said he was not discouraged by the fact that the talks have taken seven months.

"It's a big agreement. It's got three big agenda items, and in the time of the pandemic. It's not surprising that it takes that long to come to a conclusion. But we are closing in."

 

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(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Bianji)

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