UN envoy in Sanaa to persuade Houthis on ending Taiz siege

Sanaa: UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg arrived in Yemen’s capital Sanaa in a bid to persuade the Houthi group to accept a proposal for ending the siege on Taiz city.

“I will meet with the Houthi leaders to discuss the proposal,” he told reporters at the Sanaa airport on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the internationally recognised Yemeni government said it had accepted a revised proposal brought up by Grundberg on lifting the Taiz siege, which includes the re-opening of a main route leading to the strategic city in southwestern Yemen.

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The Houthi side also announced late Tuesday evening that it is ready to reopen some secondary routes around the government-held city but remained reticent on the re-opening of the main route, Xinhua news agency reported.

Taiz has been under siege since the civil war erupted in Yemen in late 2014. Lifting the blockade would facilitate the movement of citizens and their access to humanitarian aid.

Residents in Taiz have staged repeated protest rallies to demand the acceleration of lifting the siege and clearing landmines on the main roads around the city.

Ending the Taiz siege is the last major term to be fulfilled under the agreement reached by the country’s warring parties as part of their truce that came into force in April.

Various talks on the issue have been held during the past two months but failed to yield tangible results.

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