UN proposes Houthis withdraw from al-Hodeidah for joint control with government

The UN has proposed that Yemen's Houthis (Ansarallah) withdraw from al-Hodeidah as part of a ceasefire deal placing the port city under joint control, AFP reported Monday (December 10th).

The document seen by AFP stipulates that the Arab coalition cease all operations in the city in exchange for a Houthi withdrawal. The area would then be put under the control of a joint committee and supervised by the UN.

The government delegation was expected to issue a formal response to the proposal on Monday. Houthi representatives were not immediately reachable for comment.

Yemen's government and the Iran-backed Houthis convened in the rural village of Rimbo, Sweden on Thursday for what is expected to be a week of talks.

Both parties previously have said they would accept UN supervision of the port if it were under their sole control.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a UN official at the talks in Rimbo on Saturday evening said al-Hodeidah had proved the "most difficult" issue at the talks, the first since more than three months of talks collapsed in 2016.

Among the other issues under discussion in Sweden are potential humanitarian corridors, a prisoner swap and the reopening of Sanaa international airport.

Meanwhile, another round of talks on the Yemen conflict will likely take place in the coming months, UN sources said Sunday, noting that both the government and the Houthis had indicated they were willing to hold further talks.

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