RIYADH: The UN’s special envoy arrived in Yemen on Wednesday for talks on reopening routes to the Houthi-besieged city of Taiz.
Hans Grundberg flew into the capital Sanaa less than a week after the truce in Yemen was renewed for a second period of two months.
He commended the extension and said it was a “positive signal of the parties’ seriousness to uphold and implement the truce.”
Grundberg continued on landing at Sanaa Airport: “Yemenis have seen the truce’s tangible benefits. We have witnessed a significant positive shift and we have a responsibility to safeguard it and deliver on its potential for peace in Yemen.”
On Saturday, representatives from the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia concluded an initial round of discussions without reaching an agreement on opening roads around Taiz
On Saturday, representatives from the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia concluded an initial round of discussions without reaching an agreement on opening roads around Taiz and other regions of the war-ravaged Arab country.
The negotiation was hosted by Grundberg, who described the results of the talks as “promising,” noting that a proposal for the phased reopening of roads around Taiz, “including an implementation mechanism and guarantees for the safety of civilian travelers,” was drawn up based on the three-day discussions.
The Yemeni-Yemeni talks on opening the blocked roads of Taiz and elsewhere began on May 25 in Jordan’s capital Amman, and are part of the UN-brokered truce that came into effect on April 2.
The Yemeni government forces, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, have been locked in clashes with the Iran-allied Houthi militia in the north, east, and west of Taiz since April 2015.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014, when Houthis overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa.
The UN envoy expressed hope that “constructive discussions” would be held on “our proposal for reopening roads in Taiz and other governorates, as well as economic and humanitarian measures, and the way forward.”