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US urges Yemen’s warring rivals to adhere to UN truce

The United States has urged Yemen’s warring rivals to fully abide by a two-month truce brokered by the United Nations.

“The United States welcomes the UN’s announcement of a two-month truce in the Yemen conflict and the parties’ acceptance of its terms,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Blinken said the US special envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, has “been actively involved in diplomatic efforts with the parties and UN Special Envoy (for Yemen) Hans Grundberg to facilitate this important step.”

He voiced hope that the truce, “if fully implemented, would halt fighting and attacks for at least 60 days and facilitate the flow of goods and people, bringing much-needed relief to millions of Yemenis as they observe the holy month of Ramadan.”

On Friday, Grundberg said Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to a “long overdue” two-month truce under which all offensive air, ground and maritime operations will be halted.

The truce took effect on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. local time (1600GMT).

Blinken urged all the parties “to adhere fully to the UN truce for the sake of the Yemeni people” and “seize this decisive moment” to answer Yemenis’ call for peace.

He also called on the parties to “turn their efforts to securing a lasting cease-fire and participating in an inclusive political process” led by Grundberg and “to compromise and choose dialogue over violence” in order to achieve an “enduring end to the conflict.”

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

According to the UN, the conflict has created one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises.

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