Iran Says U.N.-Led Ceasefire in Yemen’s Hodeidah Is Step Towards Peace – TV

A view of cranes, damaged by air strikes, at the container terminal of the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

DUBAI, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Iran welcomed on Friday initial agreements reached at talks in Sweden by the opposing sides in Yemen’s war, which include the Iran-aligned Houthi group, were a step towards a final peace accord, Iranian state TV reported on Friday.

The war in Yemen is seen as a proxy war between Iran and its key regional rival Saudi Arabia. U.N.-backed talks in Sweden ended on Thursday with an agreement between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to cease fighting for the Houthi-held port city of Hodeidah and withdraw their troops. It was the first significant breakthrough for U.N.-led peace efforts in five years of conflict in Yemen. A next round of talks will be held at the end of January at which the warring parties will discuss a framework for political negotiations.

“Iran welcomes the agreement … and hopes it will pave the way for the next round of dialogue for concluding a final accord among Yemeni groups,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by TV.

[aesop_image img=”” panorama=”off” credit=”REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”A shipment of grain is unloaded at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen August 5, 2018. ” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

“The agreement is significant. The deal showed that the Yemeni groups involved in the talks had truly understood the deplorable conditions of the innocent and oppressed Yemeni people,” Qasemi said.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing forces of Hadi’s internationally recognised government. The war has killed tens of thousands of people and caused a humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia accuses Tehran of supplying the Houthis with weapons. Iran has repeatedly denied this.

“Iran considers stopping of bloodshed and continuing Yemeni-Yemeni talks as the final solution for the situation in Yemen,” Qasemi said.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)