Martin Griffiths to CNN: There is an Urgent Need to De-escalate the Conflict in Yemen

The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths stressed the importance of turning the calls for de-escalation in Yemen into action. Speaking to Becky Anderson, on CNN's Connect the World on Thursday, Griffiths mentioned that there is "a very strong desire to move from war to peace in Yemen", adding that the challenge now is to turn the calls for de-escalation into action. "What we now urgently need to do is to see what are the first steps that we can make on de-escalating this conflict to give some space for the political process." Griffiths clarified that while a ceasefire is not a pre-condition for resuming political consultations, stressing that "the urgent need now is to do something on the issue of downing the temperature of the war while we move towards talks." The Sepcial Envoy confirmed that he is working on re-launching the political talks this month, adding that no firm date and venue have been decided yet.

When asked about the alternative to reaching peace in Yemen, Grififiths warned that "the alternative is devastating. It's famine, of course, which is a viral disease, completely different in scale from hunger. That's the first problem. Secondly, it's terrorism which flourishes in chaos. Thirdly, it's threats to the stability of the region, the trade routes which come up through the Red Sea into Europe. Yemen is positioned in a way which affects us all, not just the people of the region." Watch the full interview by clicking here.