After seven days of peace talks in Rimbo, Sweden, Yemen's warring sides have agreed to withdraw forces from the port city of Hodeidah and to implement a ceasefire in the governorate.

This result is regarded as a major breakthrough that could be "a starting point for peace and for ending the humanitarian crisis in Yemen," according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

On the same day, the United States Senate voted 56-41 to end military assistance to the Saudi-led coalition which has been bombarding Yemen.

But are we any closer to ending this crisis?

We ask Martin Griffiths, an experienced mediator and the United Nations' special envoy for Yemen.

"I think it's a big step forward, but it's the first big step forward," says Griffiths, adding that he thinks a ceasefire in Hodeidah guarantees that the humanitarian pipeline won't be affected by the warring sides, "I think we've put a spike in the road on that."

Prior to this round of peace talks, the Guardian reported that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had lobbied UN Security Council members to stall a ceasefire resolution. Griffiths says it would be absurd for him to be shocked by such reports.

"What I need to do is to understand why people have different approaches to resolving this conflict," Griffiths says, adding that it's the key to "find out a way through it to resolve the conflict".

Having worked for all three UN envoys for Syria, Griffiths says "My job, is to do everything we can through diplomacy, through mediation, through urging, through patience, through listening, through respect to give them the chance to do the right thing."

Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.

Source: Al Jazeera News