US, Saudi agree to ceasefire in Yemen fighting

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U.S. and Saudi officials have agreed to pursue a hu
manitarian pause in Yemen, where fighting
by Shi’ite Houthi rebels has forced thousands of pe
ople to flee the country.
At a news conference in Riyadh Thursday, Secretary
of State John Kerry and his Saudi
counterpart, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubier, said
efforts were underway to forge a five-day
cease-fire in Yemen to send in humanitarian aid. Th
ey said the cease-fire would be renewable,
depending on the conditions on the ground.
Al-Jubeir said there had been no initial contact wi
th the Houthis, who are believed to receive
support from Iran, on whether they would support a
cease-fire.
Kerry added, “We strongly urge the Houthis and thos
e who back them – whom we suggest use
all their influence – not to miss this major oppor
tunity to address the needs of the Yemeni
people and find a peaceful way forward in Yemen.”
Under the terms, the Saudi-led coalition of Arab co
untries would cease airstrikes in Yemen to
facilitate aid to roughly 16 million civilians in n
eed.
Al-Jubeir urged the Houthi rebels to halt attacks a
s well, saying: “There will be a cease-fire
everywhere or a cease-fire nowhere.”
He added that he hoped the Houthis would care enoug
h about the Yemeni people to support
the plan.
The Saudi foreign minister also said more details w
ould be announced within the coming days
about the proposed pause, which would affect all of
Yemen.

Earlier this week, Kerry announced the U.S. would pr

ovide another $68 million in humanitarian
assistance to Yemen. The money will be used to prov
ide food, water, shelter, medical care and
other aid.
The State Department said the money would help huma
nitarian organizations, which have been
hampered by fuel shortages in the country, meet the
needs of nearly 16 million people in
Yemen affected by the country’s crisis, including a
bout 300,000 who have been internally displaced.

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