Saudi FM says ceasefire in Yemen will be 'everywhere or nowhere'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Saudi King Salman at the Royal Court, Thursday, May 7, 2015, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)

The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday welcomed Saudi Arabia’s proposed five-day humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen, saying the truce could also be extended.

Kerry, speaking during a joint conference with his Saudi counterpart in the capital Riyadh, also expressed his concern over Iran’s “destabilizing actions in the region.”

Saudi Arabia and the U.S. both accused Iran of backing the Houthi militia group, which attempted a coup against Yemeni President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair said the proposed five-day humanitarian truce depends on the Houthis respecting the ceasefire.

Jubeir said he had informed his American counterpart of “the kingdom’s idea of a five-day ceasefire in Yemen to coordinate with international organizations to deliver aid to Yemen if the Houthis and their allies commit to this and do not carry out acts of aggression”.

The date for its start “will soon be set,” he said adding that the ceasefire will “be everywhere or nowhere.”

Kerry said he agreed that “this ceasefire is conditioned on Houthis.”

“We strongly urge the Houthis and those (who) back them... to use all their influence not to miss this major opportunity to address the needs of the Yemeni people and find a peaceful way forward,” Kerry told reporters in Riyadh.

Iran is accused of supporting the Shiite Houthi militias, who are also backed by army units loyal to deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Weeks of coalition air strikes have prompted growing concerns over increasing civilian deaths and a mounting humanitarian crisis.

“The United States remains deeply concerned about the situation on the ground in Yemen and we fully support efforts to facilitate the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid,” said Kerry.

The top U.S. diplomat also said that “neither Saudi Arabia nor the U.S. are talking to each other about sending ground troops into Yemen,” despite calls by the war-torn country’s government for foreign intervention by land.

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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