A Chinese envoy said Tuesday that China hopes for a permanent truce between the warring parties in Yemen, which entered a two-month cease-fire on April 2 under the auspices of the UN and agreed to extend the truce for another two months on June 2.
"The truce agreement should be the starting point for broader efforts that must be translated into a permanent ceasefire and a sustainable political solution," China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun told the Security Council briefing on Yemen.
The envoy said that under the auspices of UN special envoy Hans Grundberg, the Yemeni government forces and the Houthis have held two rounds of military coordination meetings, and decided to meet regularly in the future, which China welcomes.
"We support the special envoy to continue to promote communication among the stakeholders on the Yemeni issue in a rational and pragmatic manner, implement measures to rebuild mutual trust, make every effort to maintain the current good momentum, and strive to promote more progress in the peace process," said Zhang.
He called on the Security Council to continue to maintain its unity and form synergy with influential regional countries to play a constructive role in promoting a political solution to the Yemeni issue.
Talking about the main task at hand, the ambassador said that efforts must be made to fully implement the truce agreement, in particular, to reopen the road to Taiz, and mitigate as soon as possible the humanitarian situation in Taiz.
The government-controlled Taiz, Yemen's third largest city, has been under siege since the civil war erupted in Yemen in late 2014. Lifting the blockade would facilitate the movement of citizens and their access to humanitarian aid.
"The Yemeni Government has held two rounds of consultations with the Houthi organization in this regard, and special envoy Grundberg has made concrete proposals by balancing the concerns of all sides," he said. "Going forward, it is hoped that the Yemeni parties will build on the envoy's proposals, demonstrate the political will on the issue of reopening the road to Taiz, and make the necessary compromises to create conditions for launching peace talks."
"We support the special envoy in working in this direction," said Zhang.
Zhang added China is also concerned about the economic and humanitarian situation in Yemen, which faces multiple challenges, and has a worrying outlook due to the interlocking effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and political conflicts.
"All these warrant high attention from us all," he stressed.
"The international community should maintain its attention to the situation in Yemen, and take effective measures to lend a helping hand to Yemen by focusing on assisting Yemen in stabilizing its currency and prices, alleviating energy shortages, and meeting the basic needs of the population, such as that of food," said the envoy.
"The related UN agencies should embrace a heightened sense of urgency, strengthen their coordination, properly address the shortages of resources, and ward off greater crises. All parties in Yemen should also cooperate fully with international humanitarian operations, and ensure safe and timely humanitarian access," he said.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni Government out of the capital Sana'a.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million, and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.