June 18, 2018 / 9:21 AM / 5 months ago

UAE hopes U.N. can convince Yemen's Houthis to cede Hodeidah: official

U.N. envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths listens to the undersecretary of Houthi-led government's foreign ministry, Faisal Amin Abu-Rass upon his arrival at Sanaa airport in Sanaa, Yemen June 16, 2018. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates hopes that the U.N. special envoy to Yemen can convince the Iran-aligned Houthi movement to cede control of the main port city of Hodeidah, a senior official said on Monday.

“We are still counting on the U.N. attempt to pull a rabbit out of a hat,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told reporters in Dubai, warning the Houthis that their days in Hodeidah “are numbered”.

U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths arrived in the Houthi-held Yemeni capital Sanaa on Saturday as a Saudi-led coalition battled to take over Hodeidah in an offensive the United Nations says could trigger a famine imperiling millions of life.

Reporting by Katie Paul; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Sami Aboudi

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