Yemen’s warring sides meet ‘aboard United Nations vessel’ over port city Hodeida

FILE- Yemen's Houthi movement forces are seen during withdrawal from Saleef port in Hodeidah province

FILE- Yemen's Houthi movement forces are seen during withdrawal from Saleef port in Hodeidah province

Yemen's warring sides concluded an overnight meeting on Monday that discussed the redeployment of forces from the flash point port city of Hodeida, officials said.

In May, the rebels handed over the security of the city's three ports to the coastguard, in accordance with the deal, but Yemen's Saudi-backed government dismissed the move as a sham.

Under a December cease-fire agreement, government forces and the Houthis were to redeploy their forces from Hodeida, something considered an important first step toward ending the civil war.

The UN head of the committee confirmed the meeting "aboard a UN vessel on the high seas", adding it would centre on "steps to implement" the Hodeida pullback plan.

The important diplomatic meeting is overseen by the head of the United Nations mission, Lt General Michael Lollesgaard also is a person in charge who oversees the ceasefire in Aden.

The pullback should have occurred two weeks after the truce went into power on December 18, yet that due date was missed.

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Hodeidah is the key lifeline entry of most Yemen's commercial imports and humanitarian aid.

The Houthis have made good on handing over the ports themselves to local groups, but getting the Saudi-led forces out of the area has taken a lot longer, with the UAE the only country that's willingly reduced its presence.

Griffiths brokered the ceasefire and troop withdrawal agreement during the peace talks in Sweden.

Saudi vice minister of defense Khalid bin Salman stressed Saudi support for a political solution in Yemen in a meeting with United Nations special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths on Monday (July 15).

The Yemen conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since the Saudi-led military coalition intervened in support of the beleaguered government in March 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

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