Muscat – Joe Biden, President of the United States, has welcomed the two-month truce between Yemen’s warring parties starting from Saturday, the first day of Ramadan for many Muslims in the region, and an accord on fuel shipments and Sanaa airport. He also praised the role played by Oman and Saudi Arabia in conflict resolution in Yemen.
“I am grateful for the leadership role of Saudi Arabia and Oman in bringing this initiative to fruition before the holy month of Ramadan. I am also grateful for the hard work of the Yemeni government and the confidence they have placed in UN-led mediation,” said Biden.
“The United States of America will work to deter threats to our friends and partners as we continue to strive for de-escalation and peace throughout the region. I wish the people of Yemen a peaceful Ramadan, and assure them of our ongoing commitment to help end this terrible war,” he added.
The truce announcement was made by Hans Grundberg, UN special envoy for Yemen, during a conference on Yemen’s war hosted by the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Friday’s announcement brings a glimmer of hope in a brutal conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and left millions on the brink of famine in Yemen.
“The parties to the conflict have responded positively to a United Nations proposal for a two-month truce which comes into effect from April 2,” Grundberg said in a statement.
“The truce can be renewed beyond the two-month period with the consent of the parties.”
The Foreign Ministry of Oman also welcomed the announcement, praising the positive discussions held by the UN envoy in his recent visits to Muscat.
UN chief Antonio Guterres welcomed the announcement, expressing hope for a ‘political process’ to bring peace to the country. “You must take that momentum in order to make sure that this truce is fully respected and that it is renewed and… that a true political process is launched,” he said.
“This demonstrates that even when things look impossible, when there is the will to compromise, peace becomes possible,” Guterres added.
President Biden in a statement added, “I welcome the announcement of a two-month truce in the Yemen conflict. This initiative is a long-awaited reprieve for the Yemeni people. It entails a halt to all military activities by any party inside Yemen and across its borders, the entry of fuel ships into Hudaydah port, and the renewal of commercial flights to and from Sanaa to agreed destinations.”
“These are important steps, but they are not enough. The ceasefire must be adhered to, and as I have said before, it is imperative that we end this war. After seven years of conflict, negotiators must undertake the hard and necessary work to reach political compromises that can bring about an enduring future of peace for all the people of Yemen.”
(With input from AFP)