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UN envoy launches new road map for peace in Yemen

UNITED NATIONS (OBSERVATORY) –┬áThe new United Nations envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said on Tuesday he would present within two months a plan to revive negotiations to end the war in the country, but warned that missile strikes on Saudi Arabia could hamper those efforts.

In a speech to the Security Council, Griffiths said the escalation in rocket attacks on Saudi Arabia and the intensification of fighting could “destroy any peace negotiations.”

“My plan is to submit to the Council within two months a framework for negotiations,” he said in his first report to the Security Council since his appointment as special envoy in February.

The Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels in Yemen on Monday warned it was ready for a “painful” response to new rocket attacks against Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia said last week it had shot down two Iranian-made drones in the south of the kingdom and intercepted two ballistic missiles fired from rebel-held areas in Yemen.

Griffiths spoke about the increasing number of ballistic missile launches, intensified military operations in the north-west of Saada province, and continued air strikes and troop movements in the Hodeidah region, describing them as worrying developments.

“We are concerned that these developments may destroy the negotiations of Islam, I am convinced of the dangers of that,” he said.

The kingdom began its military operations in Yemen in March 2015 in support of the internationally recognized authority and against the Shi’ite Houthis who took over the capital and other areas.

The conflict in Yemen since the intervention of the military alliance has killed about ten thousand people in a humanitarian crisis considered by the United Nations among the worst in the world now.