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UN Envoy for Yemen concludes visit to Sana'a, Yemen

23 January 2017

Sana'a, 23 January 2017 - The Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed concluded today a two day visit to Sana'a where he met with representatives from Ansar Allah and General People's Congress. The meetings focused on the full and comprehensive political settlement of the crisis, the restoration of the Cessation of Hostilities, the security plan required for the peace agreement and the need to lift the restrictions on the access of civilian commercial aircrafts to and from Sana'a airport.

The Envoy renewed his call for a rapid return to the Cessation of Hostilities that would follow a two week preparatory period aiming at developing a joint implementation plan to ensure its success and sustainability.  "It is mandatory that the parties end the violence to ease the suffering of the Yemeni people and pave the way for a peacefully negotiated settlement," said the Envoy.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed urged his interlocutors to enter into detailed discussions on the withdrawal of forces and handover of medium and heavy weapons. "There is an urgent need for Ansar Allah and the General People's congress to provide a well elaborated plan on security, withdrawal and handover of medium and heavy weapons. This plan constitutes an essential part of the comprehensive peace agreement we are aiming to implement," said the Special Envoy. "What we need at this stage is more than words, what we need is commitment and results. Delays in providing the plan will result in delays to achieving peace and allow for more deaths and further economic and humanitarian deterioration."

The Special Envoy called on all relevant actors to take the necessary measures to lift the restrictions on the access of civilian commercial aircrafts to Sana’a International Airport. "The restrictions on travel in and out of Sana’a airport have prevented scores of Yemenis from receiving badly-needed medical treatment and have left many others stranded outside the country. This can not continue. I call on the Government of Yemen to allow the resumption of commercial flights to Sana’a without further delay and for all parties to ensure the safety of the airport and air traffic," added the Special Envoy.

The Special Envoy will be in New York on 26 January to brief the Security Council on his ongoing efforts to resume peace negotiations.