Yemen truce extended for second time until Oct. 2, says UN envoy

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NEW YORK  — Yemeni parties have agreed to prolong the existing truce for two months until Oct. 2, while also committing to rigorous talks aimed at reaching a larger peace deal, the UN said on Monday.

Hans Grundberg, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, thanked Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the UN Security Council for their assistance.

He also congratulated the Yemeni parties’ leaders for agreeing to extend the truce and for “their continuous constructive interactions.”

In a statement, Grundberg said the truce extension allowed an opportunity to pivot toward long-term, sustainable peace with a statewide ceasefire, adding that both parties had provided him with “substantive remarks” on a proposal for an expanded truce agreement he had developed.

“The expanded truce proposal would provide for reaching an agreement on a transparent and effective disbursement mechanism for the regular payment of civil servant salaries and civilian pensions, the opening of roads in Taiz and other governorates, opening additional destinations to and from Sana’a International Airport, and providing fuel and its regular flow of fuel to the ports of Hodeidah,” he said.

“An expanded agreement would also provide an opportunity to negotiate a nationwide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic issues, and to prepare for the resumption of the Yemeni-led political process under UN auspices to reach a sustainable and just peace.”

It is the second extension of the two-month truce brokered by the UN, which went into effect on April 2 and was renewed for the first time in June.

The cease-fire has been praised for resulting in a significant reduction in hostilities and civilian casualties, as well as the return of commercial flights from Sanaa airport.

However, the Houthis, who are backed by Iran, continue to reject a UN plan to unblock highways around Taiz governorate, which has been under siege for almost seven years.

“The major goal of the current truce remains to bring tangible relief to civilians and to create a conducive climate for seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict through a comprehensive political process,” Grundberg said.

“It is also critical to make headway on opening roads in Taiz and other governorates to allow millions of Yemeni women, men, and children, as well as products, to move freely.” The people of Taiz and Yemen deserve for the truce to be effective in all respects.”

He urged all sides to keep their obligations and fully execute the truce in order to return Yemen to peace.

“The Yemenis deserve nothing less,” Grundberg remarked.

Source: Arab News

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