Yemeni government welcomes US call for peace

Sanaa: Yemen’s internationally recognised government On Thursday welcomed a call from the US for peace in the conflict-torn country, state-run news agency Saba said.

“These calls are coherent with the political leadership’s will … to establish peace and put an end to the suffering of the Yemeni people as result of the coup d’etat by the Houthi militias,” the government said, according to Saba, Efe reported.

The Yemeni government said that it was ready to pursue “all possibilities” to rebuild confidence among the warring parties and demanded the release of everyone held captive by the rebels.

“It is time to end this conflict, replace conflict with compromise, and allow the Yemeni people to heal through peace and reconstruction,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement released on Tuesday.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the government after it was toppled by the Houthis.

In his statement, Washington’s top diplomat put the onus on the Houthis to suspend missile strikes on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while adding that “subsequently, coalition airstrikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen.”

The rebels, however, on Thursday said that the US should end its support for the Saudi-UAE forces to make negotiations possible.

“The US has to lift the political cover it gives to the aggression against Yemen and stop the logistical and intelligence support (to the coalition) to demonstrate the sincerity of the latest calls by its officials,” Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam told Al-Masira television.

Washington’s appeal comes at a critical moment for Saudi Arabia, which has been under increasing pressure in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The Swedish government said it was ready to host the UN-sponsored negotiations on peace in Yemen.