UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said "the first concrete steps" towards the implementation of the Hodeidah's Agreement had been completed, while speaking at a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Wednesday.

"We never expected the implementation of this agreement to be easy and it hasn't been", Griffiths stated.

"With the continuous commitment of the parties and the swift and decisive support of this Council and the stewardship of General Michael's mission, UNMHA, we have finally seen that first concrete step towards the implementation of those good words in Sweden in December," he added.

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen said that the Houthi rebel forces undertook an initial deployment from Yemeni's ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa, under the monitoring of the United Nations.

The UN Mission UNMHA confirmed that the Houthi were fully co-operative throughout the withdrawal.

The Houthi's withdrawal from the three ports, which started on Saturday, was heralded as significant progress towards ending the four-year long conflict in the country.

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Washington Post 21 Aug 2019 22:43 CEST