SANAA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The UN monitoring mission in Yemen on Tuesday welcomed the Houthi rebels' handover of the security of Hodeidah ports to the coast guards.
Michael Lollesgaard, chief of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), visited Tuesday the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa, to verify the redeployment of Houthi forces, the RCC said in a statement.
The UN teams have been monitoring this redeployment which has been executed, partly as agreed by the Yemeni parties in the concept of phase one, read the statement.
"Full implementation of this agreement is critical for restoring peace and stability in Yemen, and ensuring effective humanitarian access into the country where millions continue to be in need of life-saving assistance," it added.
On Monday, the Houthi group announced that the first phase of their three-day unilateral redeployment in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah was completed under the UN supervision.
According to the Stockholm Agreement, the first phase will see Houthi rebels withdrawing five kilometers away from the three ports of Hodeidah, while the government forces should pull out four kilometers to the south of Kilo Eight area, in the southern outskirts of Hodeidah.
The second phase should see both rival forces withdrawing heavy military vehicles 30 kilometers away from Hodeidah, and pulling out troops 18 kilometers away from the port.
The long-delayed UN-sponsored Stockholm Agreement, the first step toward a comprehensive political solution to the Yemen crisis, was reached in December 2018. It was focused on the port city of Hodeidah, the lifeline for Yemen's most commercial imports and humanitarian aid.
The government forces, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, have advanced to the southern outskirts of the port city, but they halted a major offensive to recapture Hodeidah to pave the way for peace efforts.