UN chief announces ceasefire for key Yemen port at peace talks

UN chief Antonio Guterres is seen in this file photo. — Reuters

DUBAI — UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced on Thursday a series of breakthroughs in talks with rivals in the Yemen conflict, including a ceasefire for a vital port.

The Yemeni foreign minister and the rebel leader shook hands in a highly symbolic gesture on the seventh day of the UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden.

Guterres said that the deal between Yemen’s warring parties included the deployment of neutral forces and the establishment of humanitarian corridors. A political framework will be discussed in a next round of meetings scheduled for January.

He added that consensus has been reached regarding aid delivery to Taiz.

Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber said that the agreement includes a Houthi withdrawal from Taiz and the release of thousand of detainees.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash welcomed the truce agreement.

“Encouraging news today from Sweden. Important political progress made including the status of Hodeidah. The Coalition & Yemeni forces’ military pressure enabled this significant breakthrough,” Gargash tweeted.

Guterres led his mediators on Thursday in a last-minute push for a ceasefire in Yemen’s war as the Houthis and the government fought over Hodeidah port and Sanaa airport.

The warring parties have been in the rural Swedish village of Rimbo for a week to try to hammer out agreement on a number of key issues. — Agencies