UN says Yemen warring sides meet on reopening Taiz roads

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Yemen’s warring sides were meeting Wednesday for talks on reopening roads in Taiz and other provinces as the United Nations pushes to extend a two-month ceasefire ahead of a looming deadline, the UN mission said.

According to the UN, the talks between representatives from Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the country’s Iran-backed Houthi militia got underway in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

No other details on the discussions were immediately available. Talks on reopening roads in Taiz and other provinces come just a week before the truce is set to expire. The Houthis agreed to meet and sent names of their delegation to the UN envoy’s office last week.

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The truce is the first nationwide cease-fire in the past six years of Yemen’s civil war, a conflict that is now in its eighth year.

The truce has included the start of two commercial flights a week from and to the Yemeni capital of Sanaa to Jordan and Egypt, and allowing 18 vessels carrying fuel into the port of Hodeida. Both Sanaa and Hodeida are controlled by the Houthis.

Hans Grundberg, the UN envoy in Yemen, confirmed that talks were underway to extend the truce. He did not make any predictions, saying only that an agreement on extending the truce would depend on his talks with the warring parties.

Yemen’s brutal civil war erupted in 2014, when the Houthis seized Sanaa and much of northern Yemen and forced the government into exile.

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