The UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, announced on Monday evening that negotiations are underway to reach an expanded agreement by 2 October that would lead to a durable ceasefire and the resumption of a Yemeni-led political process.
"We all need to remind ourselves that failure to reach an agreement to extend the truce would lead to renewed cycles of escalation and violence, with predictable and devastating consequences for Yemen's population," Grundberg told the UN Security Council. "Yemen urgently needs to avoid this scenario." He called on parties to "make the choice to build the necessary confidence to avoid a return to war and to begin to build a lasting peace."
On 2 August, the internationally-recognised Yemeni government and the Houthi movement agreed to extend the truce for an additional two months. It is now due to expire on 2 October.
"Two weeks ago the parties agreed to extend the truce in Yemen, under the same terms, for another two months," added the envoy. "This allows the longest pause in fighting, since the war began, to continue as the benefits of the humanitarian and economic measures in the truce agreement unfold."
Grundberg explained that the expanded agreement includes additional elements, including an agreement on a transparent and effective disbursement mechanism for the regular payment of civil servant salaries and civilian pensions; the opening of additional roads in Taiz and other governorates; additional destinations to and from Sana'a International Airport; and the regular flow of fuel to Hudaydah port.
Yemen has been experiencing a civil war between pro-government forces backed by an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia, and the Houthi movement backed by Iran.