UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Both sides in the conflict in Yemen have largely stuck to a ceasefire agreed last month, but substantial progress is still needed before more talks can be held on ending the war, the U.N. special representative to the country said on Wednesday.
Martin Griffiths told the United Nations Security Council he had met the leaders of the two sides in recent days and both had expressed determination to find a way forward.
Sides - Ceasefire - Stockholm - Griffiths - Decrease
“I am pleased to report that both sides have largely adhered to the ceasefire we agreed in Stockholm,” Griffiths said. “There has been a significant decrease in hostilities since then.”
He said while there had been some violence, it had been remarkably limited compared with in the lead-up to Stockholm.
Sense - Hope - Optimism - Concern - Griffiths
However, while there was a sense of tangible hope and optimism, there was also concern, Griffiths said.
He said he and the leaders of both parties shared the view that “substantial progress, particularly on Hodeidah, is something we would like to see before we reconvene the next consultations.”
Round - Consultations - Future - Parties - Date
“I am still hopeful that we can proceed to a next round of consultations within the near future and I am working with both parties to make sure that that will happen at the earliest possible date,” he said.
At the end of peace talks in Sweden, the United Nations said another round of consultations would be held in January on a wider truce in the country, a framework for political negotiations and transitional governing body.
Griffiths - President - Government - Abd-Rabbu - Mansour
Griffiths said he had met the President of the Saudi-backed government Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted from the capital Sanaa in 2014, in Riyadh on Tuesday and with Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi, whose forces control most urban centers in Yemen including Sanaa and Hodeidah, on Sunday.
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