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Yemen's armed forces say committed to truce as long as 'other party' observes it

Yemeni armed forces’ spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree

Yemen’s armed forces say they are committed to a truce that was recently brokered by the United Nations between the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which has been attacking the country since 2015, and Yemen’s National Salvation Government, as long as the other parties to the conflict respect it too.

“We announce the entry into force of the humanitarian and military truce and our commitment to a comprehensive cessation of military operations as long as the other party adheres to this,” the armed forces’ spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree tweeted on Saturday.

Speaking on Friday, UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said the coalition and Yemen's Ansarullah resistance movement had both welcomed the ceasefire.

The two-month-long truce entered into effect on Saturday at 07:00 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) and could be renewed with consent of the concerned parties, he added.

"The aim of this truce is to give Yemenis a necessary break from violence, relief from the humanitarian suffering, and most importantly hope that an end to this conflict is possible," Grundberg said.

The ceasefire deal stipulates halting offensive military operations, including cross-border attacks, and allowing fuel-laden ships to enter Yemen’s lifeline al-Hudaydah port. It also paves the way for commercial flights in and out of the airport in the capital Sana’a "to predetermined destinations in the region."

The military campaign, which has enjoyed unstinting arms, logistical, and political support on the part of the United States, has been seeking to reinstate Yemen’s former Riyadh- and Washington-friendly officials.

The offensive has stopped short of its goals while killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis in the process and turning the entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

On Saturday, Iran welcomed the two-month UN-brokered ceasefire in Yemen with Foreign Ministry spokesman hoping in a statement that the ceasefire could be a prelude to the complete lifting of the siege on Yemen and the establishment of a permanent truce in line with efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis.

Saeed Khatibzadeh further stressed Tehran’s support for a political and humanitarian solution to the Yemen conflict.

On the eve of Ramadan, he added, the Islamic Republic hopes to see improved humanitarian conditions as well as a full exchange of prisoners between the warring sides by assigning top priority to humanitarian issues and the continuation of the ceasefire.

Also on Saturday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed hope for a “political process” to bring peace to the impoverished country.

“You must take that momentum in order to make sure that this truce is fully respected and that it is renewed and… that a true political process is launched,” he said.

“This demonstrates that even when things look impossible, when there is the will to compromise, peace becomes possible,” Guterres added.

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