New York, United States – Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) expressed his gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and the Omani government for supporting the efforts to facilitate security and stability in Yemen, as well as His Majesty the Sultan’s efforts to extend the truce.
This message was conveyed by Hans Grundberg, UN Special Envoy to Yemen, to Dr Mohammed Awad al Hassan, Oman’s Permanent Representative in the UN, during an official consultations session held at the headquarters of the sultanate’s permanent delegation in New York.
Grundberg expressed his optimism for the gradual return of normal life in Yemen in line with reopening Sanaa International Airport and resuming air transport between Yemen and other countries.
He also said that the UN and the international community are looking forward to reaching a comprehensive agreement for a ceasefire and ending the crisis in Yemen to allow the Yemeni people to live normal lives in safe and stable conditions.
Potential oil spill disaster off Yemen
In a boost to the UN’s call for a US$80mn donation to help avert a catastrophic oil spill in the Red Sea off Yemen, Saudi Arabia earlier this week pledged US$10mn to the fund.
The decaying 45-year-old oil tanker – FSO Safer – long used as a floating storage platform and now abandoned off the rebel-held Yemeni port of Hodeida, has not been serviced since Yemen was plunged into civil war.
A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after Huthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa the previous year.
The tanker, some 150km south of the border with Saudi Arabia, is in “imminent” danger of breaking up, the UN warned last month.
FSO Safer holds four times the amount of oil that was spilled in the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, one of the world’s worst ecological catastrophes, according to the UN.