Yemen in crucial moment for destiny of war: UN envoy

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-19 00:02:30|Editor: yan
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UNITED NATIONS, July 18 (Xinhua) -- UN top envoy for Yemen on Thursday said that it is time to think the realities and opportunities which define chances of making a move on peace since Yemen is "facing a crucial moment for the destiny of this war".

Speaking at a Security Council meeting, the envoy Martin Griffiths said that Hodeidah is still central as a gateway to the political process.

Representatives from both Yemeni warring parties met on Sunday on a UN ship on the Red Sea to resume discussions on the implementation of a stalled forces pullout from Yemen's main sea port of Hodeidah.

The UN is overseeing the deal that reached in Stockholm in December last year between the exiled Yemeni government and Houthi rebels. The deal was seen as the first phase toward achieving a comprehensive political solution to end over four years of civil war.

According to the deal, both warring parties should withdraw their forces from Hodeidah by Jan. 7 to avert a major attack on the port city, but both warring parties have failed to implement the deal.

It was the first meeting in joint format since February, in which the operational details of all redeployments envisaged in Stockholm were agreed on, according to Griffiths. "This is an important breakthrough and an encouraging sign of progress."

Although the Hodeidah ceasefire broadly continues to hold, military operations have continued on several other frontlines, as well as on Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia, said Griffiths, adding that he is "particularly alarmed" by the continued attacks by Ansar Allah (Houthis) on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

Yemen is near the frontlines of a potential tragedy arising from the tensions in the region, he added.

"It's not in the interest of Yemen to be dragged into a regional war... We need to prevent this to reduce regional tensions and to save lives," Griffiths said. "We have to see de-escalation of violence now."