ABU DHABI, 19th January, 2016 (WAM) — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has called on the Government and all parties in Yemen as well as states in the region, to commit to a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire to enable the rapid resumption of already delayed peace talks which the United Nations is facilitating.

Meeting with Yemeni Vice-President and Prime Minister, Khaled Mahfoudh Abdullah Bahah, in Abu Dhabi, where he is attending the World Future Energy Summit, Ban reiterated his deep concern at the continuing conflict, mounting civilian causalities and alarming humanitarian crisis, despite repeated calls from the international community for an end to the hostilities.

In the face of ceasefire violations, Mr. Ban’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, adjourned peace talks in Switzerland in December to allow for bi-lateral in-country and regional consultations to achieve a comprehensive ceasefire.

But the year-long conflict between various factions, which has already killed thousands of people, displaced 2.5 million and imperiled the food security of 7.6 million, has continued unabated, pushing back the calendar.

Mr. Ban exchanged views with the Yemeni Vice-President on how to renew the ceasefire and prepare for a new round of political negotiations.

He also stressed the need for all sides to implement the confidence-building measures discussed in Switzerland last month, including the release of prisoners, and full and unhindered humanitarian access, including to the central town of Taiz.

WAM/AAMIR/Moran