Coalition says Yemen cease-fire has begun

Updated 16 December 2015
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Coalition says Yemen cease-fire has begun

RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen said Tuesday that a cease-fire had begun at noon (0900 GMT) as scheduled.
Coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri confirmed that the truce had taken effect. The rebel forces have yet to say if they will abide by the cease-fire.
The coalition has said that the cease-fire was requested by Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to facilitate the planned peace talks in Switzerland.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the coalition said Arab forces retained the right to respond to any breach of the cease-fire.
The coalition has been waging mainly air strikes on the Houthis since March, after the Houthis seized control of much of the country in a series of moves that started in September 2014.
The Houthis say their actions are aimed at state corruption and against the militant Islamist Al-Qaeda, while the Saudi-led coalition sees the Houthis as furthering rival Iran’s efforts to expand its influence into the Arabian Peninsula.
Two senior commanders from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among dozens of fighters killed in a rocket strike in south-western Yemen, according to local media and Yemeni sources on Monday.
A previous round of peace talks in Geneva in June failed to produce a breakthrough, with each side blaming the other for the failure of the talks.


Saudi Arabia, the UAE, UK and US hold Yemen talks in London

Updated 50 min 18 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia, the UAE, UK and US hold Yemen talks in London

  • Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir took part in the meeting of the Yemen Quartet
  • Meeting discussed how best to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths

LONDON: Saudi Arabia and the UAE met in London on Friday to discuss with the UK and US the next steps in the Yemen peace process.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir took part in the meeting of the Yemen Quartet.

The UK Foreign Office said the meeting discussed how best to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.

A ceasefire between Yemeni government troops and Houthi militants was agreed for the key port of Hodeidah in December during talks in Sweden. But the implementation of the truce has stalled and the Arab Coalition supporting Yemeni forces has accused the Iran-backed Houthis of dozens of violations. The coalition includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“I called this meeting so that we keep doing everything we can to move forward on the hard road to peace in Yemen,” UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said. “This is a horrendous conflict and it is taking too long to turn the ceasefire agreed in Stockholm into a durable path to peace.”

The meeting was also attended by the UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nayan, and David Satterfield, a US acting assistant secretary of state.