With Yemen "at the crossroads between war and peace", both sides of the conflict in that country must set aside their differences and move towards a lasting political settlement, senior United Nations officials told the Security Council on Wednesday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Outlining recent developments, UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Martin Griffiths said at a Security Council meeting on the Middle East that "change in Hodeidah is a reality" as the Houthi rebel forces have undertaken an initial deployment of forces from the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa, under UN monitoring between May 11 and 14.
He described this as "the first concrete step towards the implementation of the Hodeidah agreement."
Yemen has been in civil war in the past four years, pitting the Houthi rebels against forces loyal to the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition to support the Hadi government.
Political efforts continue to focus on implementing the agreement made at Stockholm in December 2018, particularly the arrangement for Hodeidah that established a governorate-wide ceasefire and called for the mutual redeployment of Houthi rebels and Yemeni government forces from Hodeidah port and city, as well as the two nearby smaller ports of Ras Isa and Saleef.
"Despite the significance of the last few days, Yemen remains at the crossroads between war and peace," he cautioned, noting that the intensification of the conflict in other parts of the country is alarming.