Roundup: New round of Yemeni consultations to kick off in Switzerland next week

December 8, 2015 7:48 am 

GENEVA, Dec. 8 — UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, confirmed Monday he would chair Swiss-based consultations with the Yemeni government, Houthis and other relevant groups in a bid to broker a return to peace and an orderly political transition in the country.

"On behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, I call on the parties to adhere to a ceasefire effective Dec. 15 in order to create an environment conducive to peace talks, saving lives and giving hope to the Yemeni people," the special envoy said at a press stakeout.

"Only a political solution will end the crisis in Yemen," he said, adding "we strongly believe that the only way to end the suffering of the Yemeni people and to rebuild confidence, trust, and mutual respect is through peaceful and inclusive dialogue."

Among the key items to be discussed are the implementation of a long-term ceasefire together with the withdrawal of militia and armed groups form various parts of the country which has been ravaged by war since March 2015.

The resumption of political dialogue between parties will also be addressed.

"Making peace requires a lot of courage, personal sacrifice and tenacity," said the special envoy, who believed that though a ceasefire was highly likely to be obtained next week, achieving a long-term cessation of hostilities would require a lot more preparation.

Against the backdrop of a deepening humanitarian crisis, and following previous Geneva-based consultations which failed to reach an agreement in June this year, Ould Cheikh Ahmed called upon all parties to search for "a durable political solution for Yemen which meets the legitimate aspirations of Yemeni people for peace, stability, and prosperity."

UN agencies estimate that 82 percent of the Yemeni population are currently in need of some form of humanitarian aid. (PNA/Xinhua)



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