UN envoy urges Houthis to expedite lifting siege on Yemen's Taiz


SANAA, June 28 (Xinhua) -- UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said Tuesday that he has urged the Houthi militia to open main roads to the besieged city of Taiz in southwestern Yemen.

Grundberg noted that he made the appeal when he met on Tuesday with Mohammed Abdulsalam, Houthi's chief negotiator for the ongoing ceasefire, in Muscat, Oman's capital.

"We discussed the implementation of the truce, particularly the priority to open roads in Taiz and other governorates," Grundberg wrote in a tweet, adding that Omani officials and the diplomatic community in Muscat attended the meeting.

"Opening roads is critical to ease the humanitarian suffering of Yemenis and build confidence," the envoy noted.

On Monday, the UN envoy held a meeting with Rashad Al-Alimi, Chairman of Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, during which the leader of the Yemeni government called for the international community to exert more pressure on the Houthis to fulfill their commitment under the truce agreement.

Ending the Taiz siege is the last major term to be fulfilled under the agreement reached by the country's warring parties before entering the ceasefire in April.

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.

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