UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Despite multiple challenges, the parties to the conflict in Yemen should strive to implement the United Nations-led political process at an early date, a Chinese envoy on Tuesday told the Security Council meeting on the situation in Yemen.
"All parties in Yemen should strive to restart the UN-led comprehensive political settlement process at an early date," said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.
"The conflict in Yemen has been dragging on for five years, in which all parties have paid a heavy price in the past two years. After difficult negotiations, the parties reached the Stockholm Agreement and the Riyadh Agreement. These outcomes should be cherished, and political commitments should be fulfilled by all parties to maintain the momentum of political settlement," he said.
Noting that the situation in Hodeidah remains tense, he said that "we support the United Nations in facilitating the work of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) in monitoring the ceasefire and performing its duties," said Zhang.
"All parties should be encouraged to cooperate with the mission," he said.
China commends the United Nations for vigorously advancing the political process and improving the humanitarian situation in Yemen, the envoy said.
He added that the past period has seen fighting on several fronts in Yemen and the escalation of military operations, which are worrying.
"China has been following closely the security, political, and humanitarian situation in Yemen," he said.
Talking about the deal on the first large-scale prisoner exchange since the start of the five-year conflict in Yemen recently reached between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels in the Jordanian capital, Amman, Zhang said that "this shows that both sides are willing and able to ease tensions in Yemen."
"China welcomes these developments and appreciate the efforts by the two sides, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross," he said.
"We hope that the prisoners release will take place as soon as possible. We also encourage all parties to the conflict to engage in extensive dialogue and consultations, so as to achieve new breakthroughs in ceasefire, cessation of violence, and enhancement of mutual trust, among others," he noted.
"We hope that all signatories of the agreement will implement the consensus in military security and other key areas," said Zhang, adding that in this process, it is imperative to pay attention to the views of the regional countries and leverage their roles.
The envoy called on parties to the conflict in Yemen to set store by the future of the country and interests of the people, avoid escalation of hostilities, and jointly safeguard the country's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity.
Noting that the humanitarian situation in Yemen is grim and deserves great attention, the ambassador said that all parties in Yemen should fully cooperate with the humanitarian relief operations of the United Nations and relevant agencies, and prevent civilian casualties in military operations.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen has affected people's lives in all aspects. The currency and prices are unstable. Food and drinking water supplies are insufficient. Diseases such as cholera are not effectively prevented and treated.
Noting that Yemen suffered from locust plagues last year, seriously affecting its agricultural production, the envoy said that China is deeply sympathetic to the suffering of the Yemeni people and has been helping them through multilateral and bilateral channels.
"We advocate the promotion of peace and stability in countries affected by conflict, through development, and we hope that, while providing relief materials to Yemen, the international community will also support the country in its development and reconstruction, stabilizing prices, and attaching importance to education, employment, and other economic and social issues," he said.
"Unity of the Council is an important political basis for resolving the Yemeni issue," the ambassador noted, adding that all parties should create favorable conditions for the political settlement in the country.
"China is not in favor of introducing complicated factors into the question of sanctions, which will only undermine Council's unity," said the ambassador.