LONDON: The Stockholm Agreement is now in “last chance saloon,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement during a visit to Yemen on Sunday.
"The process could be dead within weeks if we do not see both sides sticking to their commitments in Stockholm."
The British foreign secretary held talks with his Yemeni counterpart in government-held Aden on Sunday, in the first visit by a western foreign minister to the war-torn country in years.
"I am here because this is really the last chance for peace," Hunt said from Aden, in a video uploaded to his Twitter account.
They discussed an agreement on a ceasefire and prisoner exchange between the warring sides, brokered by the United Nations at talks in Sweden in December, the state news agency Saba said.
Just completed Yemen visit. My thoughts, from the port of Aden, on why the situation could spiral back quickly to full scale war and what needs to happen to stop that pic.twitter.com/pzTPJdNBA8
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) March 3, 2019
Hunt's visit to Yemen is part of his trip to the Gulf region to urge the immediate implementation of the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement.
The foreign secretary added that a peace process in Yemen’s main port city “could be dead within weeks” without more committed effort from both sides.
The agreement to implement a troop withdrawal in Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions facing famine, by Jan. 7 was intended to clear the way for wider negotiations to end the four-year war but progress has been slow.
On Saturday, the foreign secretary met with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir in Riyadh.
Hunt said that he and Al-Jubeir agreed that progress on the agreement was “overdue,” and that it is “vital for Hodeidah to be cleared of militia urgently” so that a humanitarian corridor can be opened.
He also met Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Riyadh earlier on Saturday, and Houthi militia spokesman Mohamed Abdul Salem on Friday.