SWEDEN / YEMEN PRESSER

06-Dec-2018 00:02:31
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said he did not want to be “over optimistic” in the consultation between the warring parties rather he wants to be “over ambitious” adding that “success is not about the United Nations in these consultations, success is about the parties.” UNIFEED
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STORY: SWEDEN / YEMEN PRESSER
TRT: 2:31
SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF SWEDEN
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 06 DECEMBER 2018, RIMBO, SWEDEN
SHOTLIST
06 DECEMBER 2018, RIMBO, SWEDEN

1. Wide shot, Griffiths and Swedish Foreign Minister Wallstorm at dais
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen:
“I don’t want to be over optimistic, but I do want to be over ambitious. These are not the same things. We will deal with care. We will deal with respect. We will listen to the parties. We will try to understand them as we always try to do. We will see where they want to go. It’s their consultations, it’s not ours. And we will help them to understand the argument of the other side.”
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen:
“The combination that is needed to make progress is a combination of mediation and diplomacy. Diplomacy is as important, and more important in particular moments, then the mediation between the parties. Now, I should just say, and we will trust and verify; I should just say that I have received and my Secretary-General has received consistent messages, particularly in recent weeks, of very positive attitude towards, and a positive view, about what we might like to produce in the road towards peace from all those important governments to which you obliquely refer.”
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen:
“Success is not about the United Nations in these consultations, success is about the parties. It is their discussion. We’re here to serve them and to provide the opportunity to do what you hope they will, succeed.”
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen:
“Stopping the war is essential, but it is not a condition precedent to discussing how to resolve the conflict. Of course we want de-escalation and we will be talking about it in very specific terms while we are here. But we will continue to talk together about the prospects for a peaceful solution, frankly irrespective of what happens on the battleground.”
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen:
“We would like to take Houdeidah out of the battle because we worry - and Mark Lowcock, our humanitarian colleagues worry – about the possible impact of a battle in Houdeidah. Because it is the humanitarian pipeline to the rest of the country; there are 150 thousand people still in that city. I give great credit to the coalition for the pause that they have instituted. And I can tell you there is a pause because I was there about ten days ago. I give great credit to them for that. They’ve given us a window of opportunity to make Houdeidah work for peace, and I am grateful to them for that.”
7. Wide shot, Griffiths shaking hands with Swedish Foreign Minister Wallstorm
STORYLINE
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said he did not want to be “over optimistic” in the consultation between the warring parties rather he wants to be “over ambitious” adding that “success is not about the United Nations in these consultations, success is about the parties.”

Speaking to reporters in the Swedish town of Rimbo, Griffiths said the UN team would help the parties “understand the argument of the other side”, facilitate the talks, and provide the opportunity to succeed, however the discussion was for the parties themselves. He said there was a massive international effort to resolve the conflict in Yemen as the plight of the Yemeni people was getting more difficult every day. He said half the population was at risk of becoming vulnerable to famine if the consultation did not succeed.

In response to a question on whether the consultation could succeed without major countries backing the sides to the conflict, the Special Envoy a “combination of mediation and diplomacy” was needed to make progress, adding that diplomacy is “as important, and more important in particular moments, then the mediation between the parties.” He noted that the UN had received “consistent messages, particularly in recent weeks, of very positive attitude towards, and a positive view, about what we might like to produce in the road towards peace from all those important governments.”

Griffiths stressed that what was taking place in Rimbo was consultations, adding that negotiations had not yet begun. He said he looked forward for the consultations to revolve around building confidence between the parties, saving the economy, and reducing violence. He hoped to leave Sweden with tangible progress that people could see as a sign of faith and hope.

Asked about a recent escalation in violence on the ground in Yemen, the Special Envoy said stopping the war was essential, “but it is not a condition precedent to discussing how to resolve the conflict.” He added, “Of course we want de-escalation and we will be talking about it in very specific terms while we are here; but we will continue to talk together about the prospects for a peaceful solution, frankly irrespective of what happens on the battleground.”

Griffiths the UN would like to take Houdeidah “out of the battle” which he described as the “humanitarian pipeline to the rest of the country.” He gave “great credit to the coalition for the pause that they have instituted” adding this had created “a window of opportunity to make Houdeidah work for peace.”
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