Yemeni minister claims Iran-backed Houthis undermining peace efforts

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A Yemeni minister said the Iran-backed Houthi militia is undermining efforts to reach complete peace by violating the agreed-upon ceasefire terms, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday citing the Yemeni state-run news agency.

The claim was made by the Yemeni Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Moammar al-Eryani, who said that the militia continues to “avoid its commitment to lift the seize on Taiz governate.”


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US Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg had earlier said separate talks would be held to open roads in disputed Taiz region, but no progress has yet been reported.

A two-month truce between the Arab Coalition and the Iran-backed Houthi militia that runs the north went into effect on April 2, coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan, and has largely held up.

Al-Eryani said that the internationally recognized coalition government in Yemen is “keen to end the suffering of millions, including those who live in Houthi-controlled areas.”

The minister sought help from the UN to apply international pressure on the Houthis and ensure that the truce terms are followed, and importantly, lift their control over the Taiz region.

He reiterated that the country’s legitimate government is making “concessions after concessions” to find common ground and achieve peace.

As part of the truce, the first commercial flight in nearly six years took off on Monday from Yemen’s capital, which is held by the Iran-backed Houthi militia, a major step forward in a peace process that has provided rare relief from conflict, AFP reported.

Sanaa’s airport has been closed to commercial traffic since August 2016. Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been wracked with war since 2014.

According to UN figures, more than 150,000 people have died in the violence and millions have been displaced, creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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