Two-month extension of Yemen ceasefire agreed: UN envoy

The UN special envoy for Yemen singled out Saudi Arabia and Oman for their support in his efforts to end the war.

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The UN special envoy for Yemen announced another extension of the fragile ceasefire between warring parties, pledging to ramp up talks for an expanded truce agreement.

“I am pleased to announce that the parties have agreed to extend the truce, under the same terms, for an additional two months, from 2 August 2022 until 2 October 2022,” Hans Grundberg said in a statement. “This truce extension includes a commitment from the parties to intensify negotiations to reach an expanded truce agreement as soon as possible.”

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Grundberg thanked all sides for being able to extend the ceasefire, which has been the longest period of a truce since the war broke out seven years ago.

Last month, the European Union reprimanded the Iran-backed Houthis for rejecting a UN proposal to reopen roads around the city of Taiz. The UN had been pushing for a six-month ceasefire.

But Grundberg warned on Tuesday that an expanded truce proposal would allow for the resumption of a Yemeni-led political process to reach a lasting peace.

“The main objective of the current truce continues to be to provide tangible relief to civilians and to create a conducive environment for reaching a peaceful settlement to the conflict through a comprehensive political process,” he said.

The diplomat added that he would “intensify” talks with the parties to ensure the full implementation of all the parties’ obligations in the truce.

He singled out Saudi Arabia and Oman for their support in his efforts to end the war.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the agreement and also thanked Saudi Arabia and Oman for their roles. “The King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia confirmed to me their full commitment to extending the truce,” Biden said in a statement. “They and their team demonstrated that commitment over the course of discussions in recent weeks. I thank them for that.”

But he said the truce was “not enough in the long run,” urging the parties in Yemen to work with the UN to reach a lasting agreement.

Read more: Four children killed in mine blast in Houthi-controlled Yemen

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