Yemen warring parties agree to extend truce for two months -U.N.
RIYADH, June 2 (Reuters) - Yemen's warring parties agreed to extend a U.N.-brokered truce for two months under the same terms as the original deal that was due to expire on Thursday, the U.N. envoy to Yemen said.
Delegations from the Saudi-backed government and the movement are expected to return to the Jordanian capital Amman to continued talks, Yemeni official said.
The truce had seen a halt to major military operations in Yemen and cross-border attacks in the seven-year war between a Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-aligned Houthi group, and helped to ease a humanitarian crisis that has left millions hungry.
“For the past two months, Yemenis have experienced the tangible benefits of the truce,” United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said in a statement.
The truce is the most significant step in years towards ending the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and added tensions to an already strained relationship between Riyadh and Washington.
Grundberg said it had provided “a rare glimmer of hope”.
The renewed agreement will allow for fuel ships to continue to dock into Houthi-held Hodeidah port and some commercial flights from the airport in the capital Sanaa, which is controlled by the group.
There had been intense efforts to salvage the deal which was threatened by stalled talks on reopening roads in disputed Taiz, where Houthi troops have imposed a siege for years.
The United Nations is also seeking to start broader political discussions including on shoring up Yemen’s devastated economy, government revenues and public sector salaries.
Riyadh wants to exit a costly war that had been in military stalemate for years with the Houthis controlling most big urban centres. The conflict is widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Houthis after they ousted the internationally recognised government from the capital Sanaa.
By Aziz El Yaakoubi
(Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; editing by John Stonestreet and Barbara Lewis)