The United Nations has said the Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military coalition backing the legitimate government in Yemen, supports the UN Envoy Martin Griffiths, despite accused by Yemeni President Hadi of siding with Houthis.
The Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf and the Gulf Cooperation Council Assistant Secretary-General Abdul Aziz Hamad Aluwaisheg "both expressed their support for the work of the United Nations in Yemen and for the efforts of the special envoy" Griffiths, said UN spokesperson Eri Kaneko.
She told reporters that Saudi officials expressed this position at Monday meeting with the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, Rosemary Di Carlo.
The UN sent Di Carlo to Riyadh Monday to discuss with the Yemeni President AbdRabbu Mansour Hadi and his government officials the situation, following Hadi's criticism against Griffiths.
Late Monday, the UN said its official had met and heldfruitful discussions with Hadi.
They discussed the envoy's work, route forward to implement Stockholm Agreement and resumption of talks to reach political solution for the Yemen wider conflict on the basis of the GCC Initiative, National Dialogue outputs and all the UNSC resolutions, said the UN.
On 22 May, President Hadi sent an official letter to the UN SG Antonio Guterres talking about unprecedented, unacceptable desecrations committed by Griffiths, accusing the UN envoy of seeking to "provide guarantees for Houthi militias to stay in Hodeida under UN umbrella."
On 14 May, the UN said Houthi group had withdrawn from Hodeida, Salif and Ras Isa ports, in application of the UN-brokered Stockholm peace deal that made breakthrough in UN efforts to end war in Yemen.
The move raised wrath of the Yemeni government that dubbed Houthi withdrawal as farce.
In his letter, Hadi said he would give the UN envoy "last chance to confirm his professional commitment to the three terms of reference in all his efforts."
Following the UN spokesperson's remarks, the Security Council issued a statement expressing "full support" for the UN Envoy Griffiths and for progress achieved on the ground since Stockholm pact was reached last December.
The UNSC also called on all the warring parties to double efforts in applying Stockholm deal in full and to respect ceasefire and prisoner swap, noting that it looks positively at the initial withdrawal from Hodeida.
The UNSC is expected to be briefed on Yemen on June 17.
Yemen has been racked by a 4-year bloody conflict between the internationally-recognized Yemeni government's forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who ousted the government in 2014.
The Red Sea city of Hodeida and its ports have been under Houthi control since late 2014, while Yemeni joint forces loyal to legitimate government and Arab coalition have massed at the city's fringes since last November seeking to retake the strategic port.