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Talks underway to extend Yemen’s two-month cease-fire

AP – With just two weeks left in a two-month cease-fire in Yemen, the United Nations (UN) envoy to the war-torn country said on Tuesday that talks with the government and Houthi rebels are going on right now and he hopes the truce will be extended.

But Hans Grundberg was wary of making any prediction, saying that agreement on an extension would depend on the talks that he and his office are having with the warring parties.

“During these past six weeks we have seen considerable positive impact on the daily lives of many Yemenis,” he told reporters after a closed briefing to the UN Security Council. “First, and most importantly, the truce is holding in military terms.”

The two-month truce is the first nationwide cease-fire in six years in Yemen’s civil war, which erupted in 2014. That year, the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, and forced the internationally recognised government into exile.

The conflict created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world while becoming a regional proxy war in recent years. More than 150,000 people have been killed.

Yemenis gather at Sanaa airport for the first commercial flight in six years from the Houti-held capital. PHOTO: AP