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UN envoy urges Yemen rivals to take ‘bold steps’ to end conflict

The UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, on Wednesday called on the country’s warring rivals to take “bold steps” to end the conflict.

“After a year of unprecedented calm in Yemen, the parties need to take the next bold steps toward ending the conflict,” Grundberg said in statements at the conclusion of a two-day visit to the capital Sanaa.

Grundberg said he made “positive engagements with the authorities in Sanaa” during his visit.

“I am encouraged by what I’ve heard and indeed by the constructive engagement by all sides at this critical time,” he added.

The UN envoy is scheduled to fly to Aden later Wednesday for talks with the Yemeni government before holding discussions with Saudi and Omani officials.

Last month, the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels completed the exchange of nearly 900 prisoners.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including Sanaa.

* Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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