SANAA: Houthi rebels and hostile Hadi Government in Yemen agreed to a ceasefire in the port city of Hodeidah and reopen domestic routes at Sanaa Airport. This is the first significant breakthrough in peace efforts during the past five years conflict.
The talks in Sweden, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the framework for political negotiations would be discussed at the next round of talks in late January between the Houthis and the government of President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi.
Western countries, which supply weapons and intelligence to the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015, have pressured both sides to agree on measures to pave the way for a ceasefire and political solution to end the war.
The conflict has pushed Yemen, the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula, to the brink of starvation. The UN Food Agency, WFP, said the Hodeidah agreement was much needed progress to feed 12 million Yemeni people who were very hungry.
The Houthis control most cities and towns including the capital city of Sanaa, where they overthrew the Hadi government in 2014. The Hadi government is currently based in the southern port of Aden.
“The United Nations will play a leading role in the port,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The United States, which provides military support to the Arab Coalition in Yemen, welcomed the agreement.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that while many details still need to be worked out, the results of the talks mark an important first step. “Going forward, all must continue to be involved in de-escalation and stop ongoing hostilities.”
Houthi rebels agreed that the UN would manage Sanaa Airport. The UN will guarantee security and inspection at Sanaa Airport. Both parties also agreed to continue Yemen’s oil and gas exports.