UN talks to open roads to blocked cities inconclusive

CAIRO (AP) — After three days of talks in the Jordanian capital, Yemen’s warring parties failed to reach an agreement Saturday to lift a blockade of Houthi rebels on the country’s third-largest city, the United Nations said.

The announcement dented hopes of lifting the blockade of Taiz as it was supposed to be part of a two-month truce brokered by the United Nations that ended on June 1. The issue of locking down cities is key to extending the nationwide ceasefire.

Hans Grundberg, the UN envoy to Yemen, said a proposal has been made in the “first round of discussions” on the phased reopening of roads in Taiz and elsewhere that would help Facilitate the delivery of aid and the movement of suffering Yemenis. . Two delegations are still in Amman.

In a statement, he urged the internationally recognized Yemeni government and its Iran-backed rebels to end internal deliberations and bring “positive outcomes” to the Yemeni people in subsequent talks.

The UN mission did not provide further details on the proposal or when the two sides would resume talks.

The ceasefire was the first nationwide in the past six years of Yemen’s civil war, which is now in its eighth year. Ground fighting, airstrikes and bombings have subsided, and rebels have halted cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two pillars of the Saudi-led coalition supporting government forces in the war.

The conflict in Yemen erupted in 2014 when the Houthis seized Sana’a and forced the internationally recognized government into exile. The Saudi-led coalition entered the war in early 2015 in an attempt to restore power to the government.

The conflict has now created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, while becoming a regional proxy war in recent years. More than 150,000 people were killed, including more than 14,500 civilians.

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