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UN sees Saudi-Iran deal brokered by China as opportunity for Yemen

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-03-16 09:36

UNITED NATIONS -- The China-brokered agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran on the restoration of diplomatic relations represents an opportunity for the resolution of the conflict in Yemen, said a UN spokesman on Wednesday.

Asked how optimistic UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is about the possibility of the Saudi-Iran agreement leading to a breakthrough in Yemen, Stephane Dujarric, his spokesman, said the agreement "is clearly an opportunity."

"It is a big deal, to put it in diplomatic terms. The (UN) envoy (for Yemen) had a good, positive visit to Iran. We hope that this creates a climate that is conducive to enshrining a political path toward peace in Yemen," said the spokesman.

While the truce in Yemen has not been formally extended, the positive impact of the truce has continued, he noted. "We haven't seen major clashes. We've seen greater humanitarian access. We've continued to see civilian flights. These are all good things, but they need to be built upon and built upon quickly."

Earlier on Wednesday, the top UN envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, in his briefing to the Security Council, welcomed the Saudi-Iran agreement.

"Allow me to also take this opportunity to welcome the recent agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume diplomatic ties, which was facilitated by the People's Republic of China. This dialogue and good neighborly relations are important for the region and for Yemen," he said.

The parties must seize the opportunity presented by this regional and international momentum to take decisive steps toward a more peaceful future, he said via a video link.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia stormed several northern cities and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict in 2015 to support the Yemeni government.

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