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UN Voices Optimism over Intra-Yemeni Talks in Riyadh, Warns of Truce Collapsing

UN Voices Optimism over Intra-Yemeni Talks in Riyadh, Warns of Truce Collapsing

Thursday, 7 April, 2022 - 09:45
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg, Asharq Al-Awsat

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg stressed the need to protect Yemen’s truce from collapsing. He affirmed that consultations would be resumed soon with Yemeni parties to reach a political settlement for war-torn Yemen.

Intra-Yemeni consultations in Riyadh are a real opportunity for a solution in Yemen, said Grundberg, adding that he looks forward to pushing these talks towards a more positive atmosphere.

Moreover, the envoy acknowledged efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, and the United Nations.

While stressing the need to maintain the truce, Grundberg acknowledged the inability of the UN to find guarantors for this ceasefire, because the truce agreement is not signed, as it was agreed upon between the Yemeni government and Houthis.

Grundberg revealed he would soon be visiting Yemen’s coup-run Sanaa and other areas of the embattled country to hold meetings with all parties, including Houthis. The envoy stressed that a peaceful solution will not start from the battlefield, but through dialogue only.

“This is a rare opportunity in a long and brutal war to make progress towards a political solution. This means the parties need to engage constructively, in good faith and without preconditions in a meaningful dialogue about ending the conflict,” Grundberg told reporters on Wednesday.

“Ceasefires rarely hold if not supported by progress on the political track. And I believe Yemenis are united in their desire for the truce to be upheld, renewed, and consolidated as a step towards peace,” he added.

Hans Grundberg said that while the truce has led to “significant reduction of violence” in Yemen, there were reports of “some hostile military activities,” particularly around the central city of Marib.

He did not say which side was to blame for the violations, but Yemen’s internationally recognized government has accused the Iran-backed Houthi militia of attacking their positions in southern and western Marib.

Grundberg told a virtual news conference that the UN was working on a coordination mechanism with the warring sides to maintain the truce, which was announced earlier this month. It is supposed to last for two months.

Grundberg cautioned that the cease-fire is not being monitored by the UN and that the “responsibility to uphold the truce is squarely with the parties themselves.”

The UN-announced truce also includes allowing shipments of fuel to arrive in Yemen’s key port city of Hodeida and for passenger flights to resume from the airport in Sanaa.

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