Sat, 10 Dec 2022

SANAA, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg arrived in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday morning to discuss with the Houthi leader the extension of the truce set to expire next week, Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported.

Grundberg on Tuesday urged the Yemeni parties to renew the truce and pave the way for a nationwide ceasefire and political settlement.

"We are at a crossroads where the risk of a return to war is real and I am urging the parties to choose an alternative that prioritizes the needs of the Yemeni people," Grundberg said in a statement hours before his arrival.

Grundberg's visit came a day after he met with Houthi chief negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam in the Omani capital Muscat.

During the meeting, the Houthi negotiator put forward his group's demands, saying that the blockade on Sanaa airport and Hodeidah seaport "should be completely lifted and all civil servants (in the Houthi-held cities) should be paid," according to al-Masirah TV.

"Renewing the truce without implementing these demands would have no meaning," he added.

Thousands of civil servants in the Houthi rebel-controlled cities have not been paid for over seven years.

On Monday, the UN envoy met with Rashad Al-Alimi, president of Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council, during which the president and his government welcomed the UN efforts to extend and expand the truce, the state news agency Saba reported.

The truce between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels went into force for the first time on April 2. It was later renewed twice through Oct. 2.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern cities and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa.

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