UNITED NATIONS/DUBAI- The United Nations special envoy for Yemen welcomed the start of a tentative truce in the country's year-old conflict on Monday and said peace talks due to start later this month would require difficult compromises for all sides.
"Now is the time to step back from the brink," Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a statement following the start of the UN-backed cessation of hostilities on Sunday.
He said the truce terms included commitments for unhindered access for relief aid to all of Yemen, where the United Nations says hundreds of thousands of children face life-threatening malnutrition and millions lack health care or clean water.
"The progress made represents a real opportunity to rebuild a country that has suffered far too much violence for far too long. A positive outcome will require difficult compromises from all sides, courage and determination to reach an agreement."