SANAA, Yemen, UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived on Tuesday, in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, to push Houthis to withdraw from Hodeidah ports, in line with the Stockholm Agreement.

Griffiths was set to meet Abdulmalik al-Houthi, leader of the Houthi group, the rebel-run al-Masirah TV reported.

Meanwhile, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television cited a Yemeni government official as saying that, the Houthis halted the implementation of the Stockholm peace deal.

This was Griffiths' sixth trip to Sanaa in two months in his attempts to break a stalemate in the implementation of a cease-fire, to withdraw warring forces and secure access to grain aid in the country's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

Griffiths has been shuttling between the Houthi rebels in Sanaa and the exiled government in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, to avert an all-out deadly fighting in Hodeidah, the lifeline of the country's most commercial imports and humanitarian aid.

On Monday, Houthi spokesman, Yahya Sarea, said, their militias will not withdraw until a date is specified for the withdrawal of their foe, Saudi-backed Yemeni government forces, from around the port city.

The first phase of the UN plan sets a date of our withdrawal only, while it didn't specify any date for the withdrawal of the other side (government troops), Sarea said, stipulating that the other side should also start to withdraw at the same time.

The warring parties reached a peace deal in Stockholm in Dec, last year. They have largely held the cease-fire deal in Hodeidah, but failed to withdraw their forces.

The deal seeks to save more than 20 million Yemenis from sliding into major starvation.

The Houthi rebels continue to fortify themselves inside the city, while the government troops have been massing on the southern and eastern outskirts.

Source: NAM News Network

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