Qatar backs US calls for Yemen truce
November 01 2018 11:23 PM
United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths
United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths


Qatar on Thursday welcomed a call by the United States for a ceasefire in Yemen and considered it an encouraging step towards a political solution and an end to the suffering of the Yemeni people.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Qatar fully supports any efforts towards national reconciliation and towards ending the absurd war on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions, the Gulf Initiative and the outcomes of the national dialogue.

The statement reiterated Qatar's firm stance that it is keen on Yemen's unity, independence and territorial integrity, and called on the international community to help the Yemeni people and take all measures to address the grave humanitarian situation and to ensure the access of humanitarian aid to all areas in Yemen.

Meanwhile, Yemen's government said on Thursday it was ready to re-start the peace talks with Houthi rebels.

The Yemeni government said it welcomed "all efforts to restore peace" after the UN called for the warring parties to enter negotiations.

"Yemen is ready to immediately launch talks on the process of confidence-building, primarily the release of all detainees and prisoners, as well as those who have been abducted or subject to enforced disappearance," the government said in a statement carried by the state-run Saba news agency.

That came after a string of comments by key US officials and by the UN's envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, who called on Wednesday for warring parties to come to the table "within a month".

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week called for an end to the war, including air strikes, in an implicit acknowledgement that a Saudi-led coalition was involved in the bombing of civilians.

Washington backs the coalition, which is fighting alongside Yemen's government against the Houthi rebels.

But Saudi Arabia's regional role has come under scrutiny after the killing in its Istanbul consulate last month of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former royal court insider-turned-critic who wrote columns for the Washington Post.

Yemen's war has been particularly devastating for the country's children, over 7mn of whom now face food insecurity, according to the UN children's agency.

"Today, 1.8mn children under the age of five are facing acute malnutrition, and 400,000 are affected by severe acute malnutrition," said Geert Cappelaere, regional director of Unicef.

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