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International Community Welcomes Arab Coalition Declaration of Yemen Ceasefire

International Community Welcomes Arab Coalition Declaration of Yemen Ceasefire

Friday, 10 April, 2020 - 05:15
People shop at a market in the old quarter of Sanaa, Yemen April 9, 2020. (Reuters)
Riyadh – Asharq Al-Awsat

The Saudi-led Arab coalition’s declaration of a two-week ceasefire in Yemen has been welcomed by Arab and international powers.

“I am grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Arab Coalition for recognizing and acting on this critical moment for Yemen. The parties must now utilize this opportunity and cease immediately all hostilities with the utmost urgency, and make progress towards comprehensive and sustainable peace,” said United Nations special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths.

The ceasefire went into effect on Thursday.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit welcomed the ceasefire, urging the Iran-backed Houthi militias to also comply. The declaration reflects the Arab coalition’s sense of responsibility to confront the novel coronavirus, he said, hoping that the Houthis would meet it halfway as this is a “rare” chance to stop the bloodshed in Yemen.

Gulf Cooperation Council chief Dr. Nayef al-Hajraf welcomed the ceasefire declaration, hoping that it would pave the way for a meeting between the legitimate government and the Houthis to discuss a permanent truce in the country, confidence-building measures and the resumption of the political process.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen said the ceasefire is a humanitarian initiative on behalf of the coalition as Yemen endures the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. He stressed that the OIC will continue to stand by the Yemeni people and back a comprehensive and fair political agreement for their country.

Egypt underscored the Arab coalition’s initiative, hoping it will pave the way to the holding a meeting between the legitimate government and Houthis, under UN sponsorship, to discuss a permanent ceasefire in the country.

Jordan’s foreign ministry said the initiative was an important step towards holding the meeting, called for by Griffiths, between the legitimate government and Houthis to discuss reaching a permanent ceasefire in Yemen. Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi said the “wise” initiative reflects the coalition’s keenness on reaching a political solution to the Yemeni crisis.

Bahrain hailed the ceasefire, saying the “brave” decision reflects the humanitarian position as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. It hoped that the Houthis would comply with the ceasefire that should pave the way for a permanent truce in the country.

British foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Thursday that the United Kingdom supported the Saudi-led ceasefire in Yemen. “This is an important step towards the permanent ceasefire Yemenis need,” Raab said in a statement on the UK government’s website. “I urge the government of Yemen and the Houthis to immediately cease all hostilities and engage constructively with these proposals.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington welcomed the ceasefire announcement while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the legitimate government and the Houthis to engage “without preconditions” in the talks to agree upon a nationwide truce mechanism.

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