After years of stalemate in which thousands of civilians have suffered the devastating consequences of the conflict, diplomacy has a chance in Yemen, with the recent consultations in Sweden between the representatives of the Yemeni parties, under the auspices of the United Nations. The agreement on a ceasefire in Hodeidah is particularly important. The Stockholm Agreement also includes elements on the exchange of prisoners and an understanding on Ta'iz. The progress made in Stockholm is the result of a collective engagement by the parties, the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, the European Union and the whole international community. Continued attention and support from the international community, including UN Monitoring on its implementation, will be crucial.
The European Union has been supporting the relentless work of UNSE Griffiths by consistently pushing the parties in conflict and the regional stakeholders to open the way to a credible and sustainable political process, for the sake of a population that has suffered and is suffering beyond imagination. While contributing to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation the EU and its Member States have always had Yemen as a priority of their diplomatic action including through E4 regional dialogue with Iran chaired by the EU and engagement with the Coalition, with the aim of addressing also the situation in Yemen.
The European Union will keep its engagement in the ongoing diplomatic work within the UN Security Council to build on the progress made in Stockholm and to respond to humanitarian needs. We stand ready to do our part in the implementation of the outcome of the consultations in Stockholm, in full coordination with the UN Special Envoy.
We expect now that the momentum will be kept with the continuation of the political talks in early 2019 and that all sides remain fully committed to achieve a lasting and sustainable political settlement to the conflict in Yemen, and bring an overdue peace to all Yemenis.