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Ould Cheikh in Sana’a … Army at Mokha Outskirts | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Smoke rises after an airstrike hit an army base in Sana’a. AP photo

Taiz, Cairo- U.N. special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed arrived on Sunday in Sana’a where he is expected to meet with representatives from the Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s supporters as part of his tour to push Yemeni parties to accept the eighth ceasefire, ahead of reviving a new round of negotiations.

Germany’s news agency quoted informed sources in the Yemeni capital as saying that Ould Cheikh arrived from Djibouti airport, without giving additional details.

Last Monday, Ould Cheikh held a meeting with Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi in the temporary capital of Aden, and discussed updates of Yemen’s situation and ways to resume peace talks.

The Yemeni government had described the visit of the U.N. envoy to Aden as “positive and valuable.”

Meanwhile, Yemeni military units and popular resistance fighters made a new advance by reaching the outskirts of the coastal city of Mokha and its airport on Sunday.

The army, backed by coalition air strikes made new gains and are now located five kilometers from the port city of Mokha, which is considered a strategic area from where insurgents smuggle arms and goods to militias in Yemen’s western coast.

On Sunday, an Egyptian presidential statement said the National Defense Council presided over by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, extended the participation of the Egyptian Armed Forces in the military operations in Yemen.

The statement said the “National Defense Council approved extending the participation of the Egyptian Armed Forces in the combat assignments outside the range of Egyptian as well as Arab national security, in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea and Mandab Strait.”

Pro-Hadi forces launched an offensive on Jan. 7 to retake the region overlooking the Bab Al-Mandab Strait.

But since Jan. 11, Ould Cheikh has kicked off a new round of talks to revive the Yemeni peace negotiations. His tour in the region started by a meeting with Gulf ambassadors in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, from where the envoy traveled to Qatar where he met with Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Doha. The envoy returned to Riyadh and met, two days ago, with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.