United States

United Nations: Yemen has a major opportunity to reach a peace agreement

“Yemen is facing its best chance for a peace deal since the country’s civil war broke out more than eight years ago, although much work remains to be done, said UN envoy Hans Grundberg.”

“A year after the parties agreed to a UN-brokered truce, Yemen is again at a critical juncture,” Grundberg, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, told the UN Security Council via video.

A golden opportunity

According to the U.S. Defense Post, the truce has held even after its expiration six months ago and the parties are engaged in the next steps.

Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East and was devastated by the war that began in 2014, when the Houthi militia turned against the legitimate Arab-backed government and the world, but the restoration of Saudi-Iranian relations played a major role in the pacification, with the government and militias exchanging nearly 900 prisoners in recent days as hopes for peace grew amid a war that brought Yemen into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Last week, a Saudi delegation, accompanied by Omani mediators, traveled to the Yemeni capital Sana’a for talks aimed at reviving the truce and laying the foundations for a more lasting ceasefire.

“The tide can still change unless the parties take bolder steps towards peace,” he warned. “Let us be under no illusions, there is much hard work to be done to build trust and make concessions.”

The parties “must not allow this moment to pass without an agreement,” Grundberg added.

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