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Agreement Swiss hail Yemen ‘first step’ to peace


Red Sea port city, of Hodeida

A cargo ship is docked at the Red Sea port city, of Hodeida, Yemen (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

(Keystone)

Switzerland has welcomed the United Nations-brokered  agreement between the Yemeni government and the Houthis, that includes a truce for the lifeline port city of Hodeida.

In a statement released on Fridayexternal link, Switzerland said that the UN-sponsored consultations on Yemen, which took place in Sweden and concluded on Thursday, “mark a breakthrough in the resumption of the peace process in Yemen”.

It pointed to the three declarations – the ceasefire, the creation of a joint committee in the city of Taiz and a prisoner exchange.

The conflict in Yemen, which began in 2014, has killed over 10,000 people, created the world's worst humanitarian crisis and brought the country to the brink of famine. Fighting has recently intensified near Hodeida, a port through which come 70 % of Yemen's humanitarian aid and imports, including desperately needed food and fuel.

+ Read more about the fighting in Hodeida here

“Switzerland urges both parties to make every effort to implement the agreement as soon as possible. The talks are scheduled to resume at the end of January 2019, providing the opportunity to agree on additional confidence-building measures and a framework for a comprehensive and inclusive peace process,” the statement continued.

Support

The country said that it continued to support the work of the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths.

It added that it would be ready to host talks on Yemen in its capacity as host state, in Geneva or the surrounding areas. The country already hosted humanitarian donor conferences for Yemen with the UN and Sweden in 2017 and 2018.

Switzerland has spent more than CHF37 million ($37 million) on emergency relief in Yemen over the last three years.

Meanwhile, also on Friday, envoy Griffiths called for the urgent deployment of UN monitors to observe the implementation of a cease-fire in Hodeida and the withdrawal of rival forces.

FDFA/Reuters/ilj

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SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

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