Envoy praises Yemen talks and calls for Ramadan truce

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UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. File photo: OCHA/David Gough

Recent talks on Yemen were "a milestone" even though they did not end in agreement, according to the UN envoy for the country.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the Geneva consultations, which brought together government and opposition representatives, were a great achievement in light of the situation in the country.

Yemen has experienced turmoil following the seizure of the capital, Sana’a, in September 2014.

An escalation in fighting has killed thousands since mid-March.

Dianne Penn reports.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed spoke to journalists following a closed-door meeting with the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

The Geneva consultations took place last week and while both sides showed what he called "signs of constructive engagement," the envoy expressed "deep regret" that they did not end in an agreement.

"The Geneva initial consultations were the launch of a long and arduous path to get Yemen back to the political process. I am aware that reviving the political process will not be easy. The Secretary-General and I have been clear from the outset that these consultations were only a stepping stone towards a long, inclusive political process.  All the participants affirmed their commitment to remain engaged with the UN in search of a peaceful solution of the conflict. I have no doubt it is possible to build up on this positive spirit in the forthcoming consultations."

He also called on all sides to implement a humanitarian truce during the holy month of Ramadan, and pledged his commitment to achieving a ceasefire and a swift return to a peaceful, inclusive political process.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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