Yemen’s warring rivals have agreed on the first phase of a redeployment plan in the country’s coastal Al-Hudaydah province, the UN announced late Sunday.
In a statement, the global body said that members of a Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), which includes both Yemeni government officials and Houthi negotiators, had met in Al-Hudaydah over the weekend (Feb. 16 and 17).
“They made important progress on planning for the redeployment of forces as envisaged in the Hudaydah Agreement,” the statement read.
It added: “After lengthy but constructive discussions facilitated by the RCC Chair, the parties reached an agreement on Phase 1 of the mutual redeployment of forces.”
The two sides, the statement goes on, have also agreed -- in principle -- on Phase 2 of the mutual redeployment, “pending additional consultations within their respective leadership”.
The RCC is expected to convene again within one week to finalize the agreement on Phase 2, according to the statement.
The tentative deal comes after Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani announced last month that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had pledged to secure a Houthi withdrawal from Al-Hudaydah.
Last December, Yemeni government representatives and Houthi rebel leaders held a round of UN-brokered talks in Sweden, which yielded a ceasefire agreement in the Red Sea province.
Neither of the warring parties, however, have yet to fully withdraw from Al-Hudaydah amid tit-for-tat accusations of truce violations and sporadic clashes in other parts of the country.
Impoverished Yemen has remained dogged by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.
Reporting by Betul Yuruk:Writing by Handan KazanciAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.