Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry expressed on Tuesday his country’s support for the United Nations (UN) Envoy to Yemen’s initiative towards reaching a political solution to the conflict, according to a statement.
Shoukry discussed with UN Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed the latest developments in Yemen during the latter’s visit to Cairo.
Ahmed briefed Shoukry on the results of his latest international meetings regarding his initiative on the situation in the Yemeni port of Hodeida, adding that tackling the situation in Hodeida was an important step towards reaching a cease-fire and then direct negotiations between the Yemeni parties.
Ahmed earlier proposed during an Arab League meeting a plan to solve the Yemeni conflict.
The plan would allow a neutral party, under UN supervision, to run the Hodeida port, a key Yemeni port that is currently under control of the Shiite militants.
The internationally recognized Yemeni government attempted to seize the key Yemeni port but has long failed, according to media reports.
Yemen has witnessed instability since 2011, when then-President Ali Abdallah Saleh was forced to resign as a response to mass protests.
Militant groups, including Sunni Al-Qaeda and Shiite Houthis added to the instability, as the latter seized several territories around Yemen.
Beginning in March 2015, Saudi Arabia conducted airstrikes within Yemen, targeting areas controlled by the Houthis, including Sana’a, to re-establish the “legitimacy” of the government.
Since the beginning of the strikes against Houthi-held positions, thousands of people have been killed, many of them civilians, while Yemen is facing a humanitarian disaster due to a naval blockade and difficulties for humanitarian organisations to supply the country with food and other necessities.