The Arab Coalition’s decision to initiate a two-week ceasefire in Yemen to combat the coronavirus pandemic is an important one, said the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Thursday.
“The decision of the Saudi-led coalition on a ceasefire in Yemen for two weeks is a wise and responsible one,” Gargash tweeted.
The ceasefire started on Thursday noon as part of efforts to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“Along with the constant calls for a political solution, a new fear arises and that is the spread of coronavirus in the country, which will complicate the humanitarian crisis,” he added.
Yemen vulnerable to coronavirus
The coalition said the decision comes after an initial announcement on March 25 to endorse the UN-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.
“It is an important decision, and we have to build on from a political and humanitarian perspective,” Gargash concluded.
Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman said that Yemen is particularly vulnerable to a COVID-19 outbreak and that Saudi Arabia will be contributing $500 million to the UN HRP for Yemen in 2020, and an additional $25 million to help combat the pandemic.
“It is up to Houthis to put the health and safety of the Yemeni people above all else,” Prince Khalid said.