United Nations, Aug 5 (IANS) The UN Security Council has welcomed the renewal of a truce in Yemen for another two months, till October 2.
The truce in Yemen remains the most significant opportunity for peace and the protection of civilians that Yemen has witnessed in years, Xinhua news agency quoted the UNSC members as saying in a joint statement on Thursday.
It has provided a stable foundation to progress with talks on economic and security tracks, and to embark on in-depth and inclusive discussions on the political track, it said.
The Council members also called on the warring parties to seize this moment to urgently intensify negotiations to reach an inclusive and comprehensive agreement on the expanded truce proposal developed by UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg, which could be translated into a durable ceasefire and increased benefits for Yemenis.
The expressed the hope that the full implementation of the truce and an expanded truce agreement would provide an opportunity to reach an inclusive, comprehensive political settlement.
The members commended efforts by the government of Yemen to facilitate the flow of fuel into the country and flights to and from Sanaa airport.
They however, expressed their concern with the lack of progress on the opening of roads in Taiz and stressed that the opening of these roads remains a humanitarian imperative to ease the suffering in Yemen's third-largest city, while reiterating their call on the Houthis to act with flexibility in negotiations and immediately open the main roads.
The Council members welcomed the continued reduction in violence and civilian casualties under the truce, among other tangible benefits to the Yemeni population, and stressed that the full implementation and expanded truce proposal would increase these benefits.
They called on all parties to prioritise the needs of the Yemeni population and to compromise and choose peace over violence.
The UNSC condemned all attacks that threatened to derail the truce and noted with concern the increase in civilian casualties caused by landmines.
The members commended regional partners for their efforts to support the truce and stressed the need for their continued support and reiterated their support for the UN special envoy and his continuing efforts to strengthen and expand the truce, and for an inclusive, comprehensive political settlement.
Grundberg on Tuesday announced a two-month renewal of the truce in Yemen and the willingness of the parties to intensify negotiations to reach an expanded truce agreement, which would include expanded salary and pension payments and increased freedom of movement.
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