Yemen’s President calls on Houthis for negotiations to end civil war

Sanaa: Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has urged the Houthi militia to sit at the negotiating table with the government to reach a political settlement and end the seven-year civil war, the Saba News Agency (SNA) reported.

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“Return as a Yemeni political component that adheres to national constants, and come to the dialogue table to make peace,” Hadi made the call in a statement on Monday during a meeting with his government’s ministers in his residence in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

“Our hands stretch out to you for reaching a just and comprehensive peace and rebuilding our country,” he said, stressing that the ongoing truce is a big chance for all Yemenis to pave the way for “permanent peace”.

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On Saturday, a two-month ceasefire brokered by the United Nations (UN) and agreed by the Yemeni warring parties entered into force, Xinhua news agency reported.

The truce includes the halt of all offensive ground, aerial and naval military operations, as well as facilitating the entry of 18 fuel ships into the ports of Hodeidah and allowing two commercial flights a week to and from the Sanaa International Airport.

The Red Sea port city of Hodeidah and the capital Sanaa are under the control of the Houthi militia.

The terms also include convening a meeting between the parties, to lift the siege, open the roads and allow humanitarian aid access to the government-held Taiz city.

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg said the truce aims to give Yemenis a necessary break from violence, and relief from humanitarian suffering, stressing that the truce can be renewed beyond the two-month period with the consent of the Yemeni parties.

However, the government and Houthis have traded accusations of breaching the truce in the past two days.

The truce would be a major breakthrough in the seven-year civil war in Yemen if implemented, as previous ceasefire deals had all failed.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed government of Hadi out of Sanaa.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million, and pushed the country to the brink of starvation, according to the UN.

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