Chinese envoy calls for comprehensive cease-fire in Yemen



A senior Chinese diplomat on Wednesday called for efforts to strive for a comprehensive cease-fire so as to create a favorable environment for the political process in Yemen.

Relevant parties have, for some time, maintained close communication on the political settlement of the Yemeni issue and strived to end the suffering of the Yemeni people. They should maintain the current momentum, step up dialogue and consultation, set reasonable expectations and demonstrate flexibility so as to arrive at mutually acceptable solutions to outstanding issues as soon as possible, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN).

"We urge all parties in Yemen to put the interests of the people first, adhere to the political solution, abandon military means, actively cooperate with the UN special envoy in order to strive for a comprehensive cease-fire promptly so that a favorable environment can be created for the political process," Geng said.

Yemen's devastating conflict began in 2014, when the Iranian-backed Houthis seized the capital of Sanaa and much of northern Yemen and forced the government into exile. A Saudi-led coalition including the United Arab Emirates intervened in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government to power.

A UN-backed truce initially took effect in April 2022 and raised hopes for a longer pause in fighting, but it ended on October 2 after just six months.

Recent peace efforts, particularly China-brokered talks that helped restore diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, have increased hope for a resolution to the Yemeni conflict.

Yemen's warring sides had concluded several prisoner swaps in recent months, though sporadic exchanges of fire still took place in Taiz and other places.

Noting China is concerned about the clashes, Geng said the international community should increase humanitarian and development investment in Yemen to stop the deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

The political settlement of the Yemeni issue is certainly not separable from the regional dynamics, he said.

China has all along been a promoter of security and stability, a partner for development and prosperity, and a facilitator of unity and self-improvement in the Middle East. China is ready to work with the international community in actively supporting regional countries' efforts to strengthen unity and cooperation and engage in dialogue and consultation for the sake of peace and tranquility in the region, Geng said.