UN Officials Discuss Yemen in Tehran

UN  Officials  Discuss Yemen  in Tehran UN  Officials  Discuss Yemen  in Tehran

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced support for efforts to re-launch political talks on the Yemen crisis without any foreign interference, Fars news agency reported.  

Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with the United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in Tehran on Thursday.

Calling on the UN to play an "active" and "independent" role with regard to the deadly conflict in Yemen, Zarif described as "unacceptable" the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe, the blockade on the impoverished Arab country and the bombing of the defenseless people.  

"The Islamic Republic supports initiatives aimed at encouraging all Yemeni groups to sit at the negotiating table and believes no (foreign) country should attend the talks," he noted. He said only in case need arises, Iran and some other countries can play a role to assist in the process.  

"The establishment of a full-fledged ceasefire will be the starting point of any peaceful solution to the Yemen crisis," he said.  

The UN official, for his part, hailed Iran's measures to help restore stability and peace in the region, and especially praised the four-point peace initiative proposed by the Islamic Republic in April to help solve the crisis in Yemen. Cheikh Ahmed also stressed the necessity of holding national dialogue in Yemen as well as the need to exclude foreign groups from peace negotiations.  

  Aid Delivery Not Satisfactory

In another meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Zarif discussed the latest developments in Yemen with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, IRNA reported.   

Zarif criticized the slow process of delivering international relief aid to the war-torn country, lamenting that during the recent five-day humanitarian ceasefire, no "thorough and immediate" measure was taken by international relief agencies to send aid supplies to Yemen.  

He called for the designation of sites in Yemen for delivering humanitarian aid to the crisis-hit Arab nation, saying such places need to be protected against military attacks.  

Amos, in turn, confirmed the remarks made by the foreign minister and said restrictions imposed on the process of aid delivery to Yemen need to be eased. As a solution to facilitate the delivery of relief supplies, she proposed that the shipments be first sent to a place outside Yemen under the supervision of the UN and then be transferred into the Arab country.  

In a separate meeting on Thursday, Amos and Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian exchanged views about the humanitarian situation in Yemen as well as the process of dispatching aid to regional countries facing conflicts such as Iraq, Yemen and Syria.