Tag Archives: ceasefire

U.S.-Taliban talks focus on Afghan ceasefire

U.S.-Taliban talks focus on Afghan ceasefireThe meeting in Abu Dhabi is at least the third time that U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has met Taliban representatives as diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year war have intensified this year. Taliban officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. delegation was pressing for a six-month truce as well as an agreement to name Taliban representatives to a future caretaker government. In a statement issued late on Tuesday, the Taliban said the talks had mainly concentrated on the “U.S. occupation”, adding: “Nothing about interim government, ceasefire, election or other internal issues has been discussed”.



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Fierce clashes in Hodeidah lead to delay of ceasefire

Fierce clashes in Hodeidah lead to delay of ceasefireFierce clashes broke out in Yemen’s crucial port city of Hodeidah on Sunday, leading UN and Yemeni officials to delay the "official" start of the hard-fought ceasefire agreed last week. Residents reported skirmishes on the outskirts of town with missiles and automatic gunfire heard near the city's eastern 7th July suburb.  Unconfirmed television reports said that the Saudi-led coalition had launched two airstrikes on Ras Isa, a port north of Hodeidah. On Thursday, the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels agreed to a UN-brokered truce in Hodeidah with the Saudi-led coalition that backs the official government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.  UN officials said it was necessary to delay the implementation of the ceasefire until December 18th to convey orders to troops on the ground.  On Sunday afternoon, UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths issued a plea to both to “respect their obligations as per the text and the spirit of the Stockholm Agreement” and “engage in the immediate representation of its provisions.” "Without peace, we will be facing in 2019 a much worse situation than today" as a result of food shortages, warned UN chief Antonio Guterres on Sunday. Hodeidah is almost completely controlled by the Houthis, and their withdrawal from key positions like the port is one of the central components of the UN-brokered deal reached last week in Sweden. By moving units away from the Red Sea port, international officials hope to get desperately needed food and aid into the country to ease Yemen’s festering humanitarian crisis. Under the deal, which could create the breathing space for meaningful peace talks, international monitors are to be deployed in Hodeidah to observe as all armed forces pull back completely within 21 days of the start of the ceasefire. Skirmishes and clashes like those seen in Hodeidah over the past two days are not in themselves a sign that the ceasefire is doomed, said independent Yemen analyst Hisham Al-Omeisy. “Even in previous ceasefires, there was a huge de-escalation infighting, but still sporadic fighting here and there, like we’ve seen over the past few days,” he told the Telegraph. He cited recent conversations with Houthi contacts where the atmosphere in Hodeidah was cited as “toxic” and characterised by a deep mistrust of the Saudi-led coalition. A rise in looting by Houthi forces, he said, showed "bad faith" ahead of the agreed withdrawal. 



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Yemenis fear collapse of UN-backed ceasefire accord

Yemenis fear collapse of UN-backed ceasefire accordResidents of Yemen’s flashpoint port of Hodeida and other cities fear a UN-brokered ceasefire could collapse at any moment, saying that after four years of conflict any accord is deeply fragile. The Red Sea port of Hodeida, a main frontline between rebels and loyalist forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition and a key conduit of aid, had woken to calm after weeks of confrontation. Saturday morning saw calm return to Hodeida, but shops and schools remained shuttered as gunmen deployed in the south and east.



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Yemen's warring parties agree to ceasefire in Hodeidah and U.N. role

Yemen's warring parties agree to ceasefire in Hodeidah and U.N. roleAt the close of a week of talks in Sweden, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a framework for political negotiations would be discussed at the next round of talks at the end of January between the Iranian-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Western nations, some of which supply arms and intelligence to the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015, had pressed the two sides to agree confidence-building steps to pave the way for a wider truce and a political process to end the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people. The conflict has pushed Yemen, the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula, to the verge of famine.



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Yemen's warring parties agree ceasefire in Hodeidah, says UN chief

Yemen's warring parties agree ceasefire in Hodeidah, says UN chiefTalks in Sweden between Yemen's warring parties on Thursday led to a major breakthrough in blunting a devastating war that has killed thousands and driven the country to famine, with both sides agreeing on a ceasefire in a key port that acts as a lifeline for millions. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that the Iran-linked Houthi rebels, who control Hodeidah port, had reached a ceasefire there with the Saudi-led coalition that was massing troops in the Red Sea city ahead of a final push into the port.  In a statement released near the end of peace talks this week in Sweden, Mr Guterres said that UN troops would be dispatched to Hodeidah, where the organisation will also help distribute much-needed aid.  The ceasefire will hold both in the city of Hodeidah, which is the principal life-line for two-thirds of the country, and the broader province, the UN chief added. A "mutual understanding" was also struck in the nation's embattled third city of Taiz, although few details were released . There was no agreement, however, on ending the fighting elsewhere in Yemen. Nor has a deal been struck on a political framework or the reopening of the rebel-held Sanaa airport. Further talks on those subjects are due in early 2019.  Rebel negotiator Mohammed Abdelsalam (C) holds a press conference together with members of the delegation following the peace consultations in Sweden Credit: AFP Mr Guterres thanked both delegations, saying "real progress" had been made towards ending the conflict. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had flown to Sweden on Thursday to back mounting pressure on both sides to reach an agreement. He met the Houthi rebels for the first time when he hosted meetings with them and the Saudi-backed government, the Foreign Office said in a statement. “Today’s agreement in Stockholm between the Yemeni Government and the Houthis is an important step towards ending the conflict in Yemen - the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. “We have been working with the United Nations to bring the two sides in this terrible conflict together for the first time in years, including through constructive talks with key Saudis and Emiratis during my recent visits, and regular discussions with Oman." The US senate voted on Wednesday to press ahead with a resolution ending US military support to the Saudis and their allies in Yemen. On Wednesday, the UK-based observer group Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLEDP) said the official UN death toll of 10,000 was likely a vast underestimate. Its own survey put the toll at more than 60,000.  The war, launched by Saudi Arabia and its allies in 2015 after the Houthis overran much of Yemen, has come under increased scrutiny in recent months, particularly after Saudi agents murdered columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul government. The US senate voted on Wednesday to to end US military support to the Saudis and their allies in Yemen, a significant blow to President Trump who has stood firmly by Riyadh. All the main Yemeni factions, and Saudi-backed coalition, have been accused of rights violations including torture. The Saudi-led coalition sparked an international outcry following an air strike on a bus that killed dozens of children in August.



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The Latest: Hamas abides by cease-fire, restrains protests

The Latest: Hamas abides by cease-fire, restrains protestsJERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on the political developments in Israel (all times local):



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Days after cease-fire, Gaza border demonstrations to resume

Days after cease-fire, Gaza border demonstrations to resumeGAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian organizers of the weekly demonstrations in the Gaza Strip along the Israeli border said they will hold another protest on Friday — in a key test of this week's cease-fire between Israel and Gaza militant groups.



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Israeli defense minister resigns over Gaza cease-fire deal

Israeli defense minister resigns over Gaza cease-fire dealJERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman abruptly resigned his post Wednesday in protest over a cease-fire reached with Gaza militants, in a move that rocked the Israeli political scene and seemed likely to bring about early elections.



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Four-nation Syria summit calls for lasting Idlib ceasefire

Four-nation Syria summit calls for lasting Idlib ceasefireA joint statement adopted at the end of a major summit in Istanbul said the countries were committed to working “together in order to create conditions for peace and stability in Syria”. It also “stressed the importance of a lasting ceasefire” in Idlib, while hailing “progress” following a deal last month between Syrian-regime supporter Russia and rebel-backer Turkey to create a buffer zone around the northwestern province.



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Turkey talking to all sides in Syria conflict for Idlib ceasefire

Turkey talking to all sides in Syria conflict for Idlib ceasefireAnkara failed last week to win agreement for a ceasefire from Russia and Iran, President Bashar al-Assad’s main backers, but there has been a recent lull in air strikes and a pro-Damascus source indicated a ground attack may not be imminent. Rebels also said some pro-Assad forces had left frontlines in northwest Syria in recent days. Turkey has reinforced a dozen military posts inside the Idlib region, which lies across its southern border and is controlled by Turkey-backed rebels and jihadist fighters, trying to forestall a government assault.



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