UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Tuesday called on relevant parties in Yemen to restore truce and ease tension on the ground as soon as possible.
"The six-month truce has brought significant peace dividends to the Yemeni people," Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said at a UN Security Council meeting on Yemen.
On April 2, the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia agreed upon a two-month truce brokered by the United Nations, which was later renewed twice through Oct. 2. However, Yemen's warring sides have failed to reach an agreement on further extension.
"Restoring the truce is not only in the common interests of the Yemeni people, but also a shared expectation of regional countries and the wider international community," Zhang said.
"Currently, the window of opportunity for peace in Yemen remains open, and rightly so," he said.
China calls on relevant parties, the Houthis in particular, to actively cooperate with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg and set reasonable expectations on key issues, such as the salary payment of civil servants, to find solution at an early date, reestablish the truce as soon as possible and reach an agreement on the launching of a more extensive political process, Zhang said.
In recent weeks, Houthi forces, also known as Ansar Allah, attacked oil terminals and ports in Yemen's Hadramawt and Shabwa governorates to deprive the Yemeni government of its main source of revenue from exporting oil, Grundberg said Tuesday when briefing the Security Council on the situation in Yemen after the Oct. 2 truce expiration.
Zhang said China strongly condemns the attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure and calls on the parties to the conflict, especially the Houthis, to "put the interests of the Yemeni people first, stay committed to the path of political settlement, cease all hostilities and ease the tension on the ground as soon as possible."
China fully acknowledges the overall restraint shown by the Yemeni government in this process, he noted.
Yemen is facing one of the gravest humanitarian crises in the world with more than 23 million people in urgent need of humanitarian aid and an acute problem of malnutrition, but funding shortfalls have forced many UN humanitarian and development programs to curtail or even suspend operations in Yemen, the envoy said.
China calls on the international community to act immediately to scale up humanitarian and development assistance to Yemen, provide adequate funding for UN operations in the country and support the efforts of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council in improving living standards and stabilizing Yemen's economy and currency in order to ease the plight of the Yemeni people, Zhang said. ■