Yemeni warring parties agree on pullout steps from port city

The United Nations says Yemen's warring parties have agreed on the first stage of a mutual pullout of forces from the key port city of Hodeida, a humanitarian aid lifeline that had been blocked by fighting.

A U.N. statement late Sunday said the agreement by the Redeployment Coordination Committee — which includes members of Yemen's internationally recognized government and their adversaries, the Shiite Houthi rebels — came after two days of meeting behind the Hodeida front line.

The two sides agreed in Sweden in December to confidence-building measures, including a cease-fire in Hodeida and the exchange of thousands of prisoners. But the implementation of those deals has been slow and marred by violence.

The U.N. says the Committee plans to reconvene within a week.