UN Secretary-General praises Saudi initiative to end fighting in Yemen

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has praised Saudi Arabia’s initiative to end the fighting in Yemen and has called on all sides to prioritize the Yemeni people's needs above “any other considerations.”

Saudi Arabia on Monday revealed a new proposal for a ceasefire to the yearslong war in Yemen. The new proposal would include a nationwide ceasefire to be implemented under UN supervision.

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“The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on steps to help end the fighting and restart the political process in Yemen. He expresses his thanks to the Kingdom for its support for the United Nations efforts,” a UN official said in a statement Tuesday.

Guterres said the steps presented in the Saudi proposal were all aimed at bringing the fighting sides to a resolution in line with UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths' efforts. These include a nationwide ceasefire, the re-opening of Sanaa airport, the regular flow of fuel and other commodities into Yemen through the Hodeidah port and the move to an inclusive political process to reach a comprehensive negotiated settlement to end the conflict.

“As the conflict in Yemen enters its seventh year, Yemenis continue to face a dire humanitarian situation, including the prospect of a large-scale famine, while a significant funding gap remains,” said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for Guterres.

But the Iran-backed Houthis quickly rejected the Saudi proposal, days after doing the same to a US proposal.

“Underlining that the needs of the Yemeni people must be put above any other considerations,” Haq added.

“All actors and stakeholders must do their utmost to facilitate an immediate agreement that brings Yemen back to a path towards peace.”

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