Coronavirus: Arab Coalition declares Yemen ceasefire, says Saudi Press Agency

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The Arab Coalition declares a complete ceasefire in Yemen for two weeks starting Thursday noon, according to a coalition statement as part of efforts to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The coalition said the decision comes after an initial announcement on March 25 to endorse the internationally recognized Yemeni government’s decision to a ceasefire following a call by UN Secretary General Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths for warring parties to lay down their weapons.

“The coalition announces a comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen for a period of two weeks, starting on Thursday, April 9, at 12:00 am local time, which can be extended in order to create the appropriate conditions to implement the invitation of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen to hold a meeting between the legitimate government and the Houthis,” the coalition statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency read.

“The decision to implement this ceasefire came as a stand with the Yemeni people. We hope that there will be a reciprocation from the Houthi militia to hold this ceasefire,” Arab Coalition spokesperson Col. Turki al-Maliki tells Al Arabiya.

“A political solution is the best solution to the crisis in Yemen. We started our own measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic in Yemen. The humanitarian effort of the coalition in Yemen exceeds its military effort there,” al-Maliki added.

United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, gestures during his visit, in Marib, Yemen March 7, 2020. (Reuters)
United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, gestures during his visit, in Marib, Yemen March 7, 2020. (Reuters)

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The coalition said the meeting would also include a military team from their side. All parties are expected to meet under Griffith’s supervision to discuss his proposals on steps and mechanisms for a permanent ceasefire in Yemen, steps to build humanitarian and economic confidence, and the resumption of the political process between the Yemeni parties to reach a political solution in Yemen.

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“The joint forces of the Alliance to Support Legitimacy in Yemen finds an opportunity to join all efforts in reaching a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire in Yemen, and agree on serious, concrete and direct steps to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people and will greatly support all these basic steps with the United Nations to reach a comprehensive and just political solution agreed by the Yemenis,” Colonel Turki al-Maliki, the Arab Coalition’s official spokesperson, said in the statement.

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