EU ‘deeply regrets’ Iran-backed Houthi’s rejection of UN proposal to reopen Taiz road

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The EU slammed the Iran-backed Houthis rejection of a UN-backed proposal to reopen the road around the Yemeni city of Taiz, the EU delegation to Yemen said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The EU deeply regrets a rejection by the Houthis of the latest proposal by UN Special Envoy (UNSE) on road reopening notably around Taiz,” it said, further calling it a “crucial humanitarian element” of the ongoing truce agreement.

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The EU urged the Houthis to reconsider and accept the UNSE’s proposal.

The Taiz blockade continues to be of concern since it impedes the flow of essential goods and aid delivery inside Yemen’s third largest city that has been under siege since 2015.

A provision in the truce agreement for the militants to ease their siege of Yemen’s third-biggest city Taiz has yet to be implemented, and the government has demanded roads to the city be opened.

“The truce has broken the diplomatic stalemate and brought unprecedented tangible benefits to Yemenis, and this momentum should not be lost,” the EU statement said.

The United Nations, meanwhile, is pushing Yemen’s warring parties to agree to a six-month truce extension, two sources familiar with the talks told Reuters, which would be the longest in the seven-year-old conflict as international pressure grows on both sides to end the war.

Peace efforts gained a boost after US President Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia last week, where he announced agreement with the Saudi leadership to “deepen and extend” the ceasefire expiring on August 2.

In a joint statement released following his visit, the US President Biden expressed his appreciation for the role King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played in achieving the truce.

However, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg has to address strong grievances from the warring parties before they accept a further renewal of the existing two-month truce deal that first took hold in April, Reuters reported on Monday.

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UN presses Yemen warring parties for six-month truce extension: Sources

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