Arab coalition’s Yemen ceasefire receives wide support

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Updated 09 April 2020

Arab coalition’s Yemen ceasefire receives wide support

  • UN special envoy Martin Griffiths has been negotiating with the conflicting parties to reach an agreement on a nation-wide ceasefire

DUBAI: The Arab coalition’s decision to impose a two-week ceasefire on Yemen, which started midday on Thursday, was widely applauded as a critical moment to achieving lasting peace in the war-torn country.
“I am grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the 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 a comprehensive and sustainable peace,” Martin Griffiths, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, said in a report by state news agency SPA.
Griffiths has been negotiating with the conflicting parties to reach an agreement on a nation-wide ceasefire so that humanitarian and economic measures could be implemented to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the Arab coalition’s initiative to implement a ceasefire in Yemen was in support of Griffiths’ efforts to ‘end the conflict and focus on confronting coronavirus.’
“We hope that the Houthis would take this as an opportunity to give priority to the interests of the Yemeni people,” he said.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said that the Arab coalition’s decision for a ceasefire in Yemen was wise and responsible, and a product of Saudi Arabia’s effort and leadership in unprecedented crisis, while John Abizaid, the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, thanked the Kingdom’s leadership for initiating the cessation of hostilities.


Bahrain’s foreign ministry welcomed on Thursday the Arab coalition’s decision to announce a ceasefire in Yemen.

The ministry described the decision as “courageous” and said that the decision takes into account the exceptional circumstances that the world is facing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministry added that the cease-fire showed the Arab coalition's concern for the safety of Yemeni lives. 

Bahrain also commended the aid announced by Saudi Arabia for Yemen that aims to improve the country’s economy.

Egypt also welcomed the announcement and said that the initiative aims to create conditions in which the Yemeni government and the Houthis can discuss peace in Yemen, a permanent ceasefire in the country and the resumption of the political process that aims to achieve peace.

Later on Thursday, the UN’s special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths praised the Arab coalition’s ceasefire announcement in a tweet and thanked Saudi Arabia “for putting forward this positive initiative.”

He added that the initiative demonstrates the Kingdom’s commitment to “de-escalating the conflict” in Yemen and “aligning its efforts with those of the UN.”   

Jordan similarly supported the Arab coalition’s ceasefire declaration.
Dr. Naif Al-Hajraf, the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, likewise welcomed the Arab coalition’s announcement, adding with the ceasefire in place focus could now be placed on efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic affecting Yemen.
Dr. Mishaal Al-Sulami, the speaker of the Arab Parliament, meanwhile said the ceasefire should help alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering and support them in combating the coronavirus spread.
Al-Sulami called on the United Nations to immediately stop Houthis from committing further crimes and violations against Yemeni citizens, and to stop firing ballistic missiles and drones on cities and civilian installations in Saudi Arabia.
He likewise asked the UN to hold criminally responsible those who violate the ceasefire.


Saudi envoy to UK calls for more cooperation amid pandemic

Updated 11 min 43 sec ago

Saudi envoy to UK calls for more cooperation amid pandemic

  • Prince Khalid said the Saudi economy is performing better than some expected

LONDON: Saudi Ambassador to the UK Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan Al-Saud has called for greater cooperation between the two kingdoms amid the coronavirus crisis.

Writing in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, the envoy said Saudi Arabia and the UK “have lost too many people to the virus,” and referred to the similarities between the two nations in their moves to secure the long-term strength of their economies.

Prince Khalid said Britain and Saudi Arabia enjoy a close relationship, and he feels “very strongly that our two nations can help each other meet the challenges of these very difficult times.”

He added that many Britons work in Saudi companies and vice versa, and while the links between the two kingdoms have often revolved around business, the liberalized leisure opportunities brought about by the Vision 2030 reform plan will make for a rise in tourism and travel. 

Prince Khalid said the Saudi economy is performing better than some expected. Praising his country’s move to privatize Saudi Aramco, he said share prices in the company have reached pre-COVID-19 levels.

But as openness and thriving business and tourism relationships have grown between the Middle East and the West, the envoy expressed fears that some are threatening to use COVID-19 as an opportunity to erect barriers worldwide. 

This cannot “be the legacy of corona,” he said. “We can’t allow a division to emerge between East and West, we must all work together to build a prosperous open global trading legacy.

“Britain and Saudi Arabia, as countries that in different ways are both dependent on global trade, must work together to make sure that the world makes the right choice.”