KSA: Yemen truce begins on Tuesday

Updated 10 May 2015
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KSA: Yemen truce begins on Tuesday

PARIS: Saudi Arabia said on Friday a five-day humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen would begin on Tuesday if the Iranian-allied Houthi militia it has been fighting agreed to the pause.
“This is a chance for the Houthis to show they care about their people, and we hope they take up this offer for the good of Yemen,” Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told a news conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Al-Jubeir said the date of the cease-fire was set to allow time for donors to coordinate aid supplies. It would come into force at 11 p.m. (2000 GMT).
“It is critically important that all countries are able to send as much relief, as efficiently, as quickly to as many Yemenis as possible,” he added. The offer of a truce came days after the Houthis shelled Saudi border towns, prompting more airstrikes.
“A humanitarian catastrophe is building ... and clearly this is an important moment,” Kerry said.
Without naming Iran, Kerry said those who supported the Houthis should encourage the group’s leaders and rank-and-file to “live by this opportunity.”
He added: “The US is working with the international community now to try to organize as much humanitarian assistance as possible to flow once that cease-fire takes effect working through the United Nations.”
Kerry said the cease-fire opened the door the possibility of peace talks between the warring parties. He said, however, the truce “is not peace” and said it was important that Yemen’s leaders tried to reach a lasting political settlement.
“They are going to have to make tough choices more than just a cease-fire because even the most durable of cease-fire is not a substitute for peace,” he said.
Kerry said that while the Saudis would not respond to small accidental incidents where the message of a cease-fire might not have reached, this would not be extended to big actions that could be seen as a breach of a cease-fire.
Al-Jubeir said the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen is ready to halt airstrikes if Houthis cooperate.
Kerry also said there were “some indications but no certainty” that Houthis will accept the truce.
“It is not hard if you pass the word and give strict orders to your people,” Kerry said. “Our hope is that the Houthis will spread the word rapidly.”


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begins Asia trip

Updated 25 June 2019
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begins Asia trip

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began an official trip to South Korea and Japan on Tuesday.
The visit comes after an invitation from South Korean President Moon Jae-in and based on the directives of King Salman, the royal court said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.
He will meet with the president and a number of officials to discuss bilateral relations and issues of common interest.
The crown prince will also head to Japan after Korea to head the Kingdom’s delegation at the G20 summit in Osaka on Friday and Saturday.
During his visit to Japan, the crown prince is expected to meet with several heads of states and senior officials, among them Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Kremlin.