UN, GCC urge Yemen truce compliance

RIYADH: The United Nations (UN) and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) on Thursday urged all parties in Yemen to comply with a UN-brokered three-day ceasefire which began on Wednesday.

During a meeting, Secretary-General of the GCC Dr Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani and the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed stated that the truce would enable a resumption of peace talks and help deliver humanitarian assistance to all Yemeni governorates.

The parties discussed the UN envoy’s efforts to push forward the political process based on the outcome of Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference, UN resolutions, the Security Council Resolution 2216 in particular, and the 2011 GCC Initiative.

Sanaa on Wednesday passed its first night in three months without air strikes and the truce was generally holding across the Arabian Peninsula state, residents and officials said.

But Yemen’s exiled government said that Houthi militia had violated the truce 43 times and shelled the strategic city of Taiz.

“Taiz suffered heavy shelling...and the siege of it by the Houthis has continued,” Yemeni General Samir Haj was quoted as saying by the state news agency Saba.

Meanwhile, GCC ministers in charge of environmental affairs have endorsed the UAE’s recommendation to establish better co-ordination among member countries of the bloc on international conventions, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES.

They have also stressed the importance of benefiting from the UAE’s experience in advancing smart online environmental services as provided by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.