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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - RIYADH/CAIRO — The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) welcomed the announcement of the Command of Joint Forces of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen of a two-week comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen, starting from Thursday. The two-week truce could be extended.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit welcomed the two-week ceasefire in all areas of operations in Yemen, calling on the Houthi militia to demonstrate commitment and responsiveness to this initiative, which represents a rare opportunity to stop the bloodshed in Yemen.
In a statement today, Gheit thanked the leadership of Saudi Arabia in achieving the ceasefire, and wished that guns would remain silent on various burning Arab fronts, especially in Syria and Libya.
Gheit said the Yemeni people are the first winner of this important initiative that embodies a sense of responsibility and awareness of the seriousness of the challenge facing everyone at the present time, which requires solidarity and mercy in order to face the global pandemic of novel Coronavirus.
He stated that the Coalition’s announcement of a ceasefire puts the onus on the Houthi militia, noting that the Yemeni people, exhausted by years of war, are waiting for Houthis to engage in a serious peace process that leads to a comprehensive peace agreement that ends the Yemeni crisis and preserves the country’s unity, sovereignty, and its neighbors' security and stability.
GCC Secretary General Dr. Naif Al-Hajraf too welcomed the announcement. He expressed hope that this announcement would contribute to creating conditions and responding to the efforts of the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen to hold a meeting between the legitimate government and Houthis to discuss steps and mechanisms to implement a permanent ceasefire in Yemen.
This would then build confidence, and the resumption of the political process between Yemeni parties to reach consultations between Yemeni brothers and a comprehensive political solution, he added.
He also stressed the GCC support for the call of the United Nations Secretary General on March 23 for a ceasefire around the world to focus efforts on combating the spread of the novel Coronavirus, and called on Houthis to respond to a permanent ceasefire, intensify efforts to confront this pandemic, prevent its spread in Yemen, and engage with the UN Envoy to end the conflict and reach a political solution.
The Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths too welcomed the announcement. A statement published by Griffiths office said that the announcement comes in support of the UN’s peace process and the UN Secretary-General’s call for a nationwide ceasefire in order to avert the grave risks of a COVID-19 outbreak in Yemen.
“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,” said Griffiths.
According to the statement, the Special Envoy has been mediating between the parties to reach agreements on a nation-wide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic measures that will bring tangible relief to the people of Yemen, and the resumption of the political process to comprehensively end the war.
In Cairo, the speaker of the Arab Parliament Dr. Mishaal Al-Sulami also welcomed the truce. In a statement, Dr. Al-Sulami affirmed that this announcement carries humanitarian dimensions that aim primarily to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people and support them in facing coronavirus challenge and to combat it and prevent its spread.
Dr. Al-Sulaimi called on the United Nations to compel the Houthi militia to cease fire, immediately stop the ongoing crimes and violations against the Yemeni people, not to launch ballistic missiles and drones on cities and civil installations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and hold them fully responsible for any breaches of the truce.
Dr. Al-Sulami highly valued the continued support being provided by Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen, the last of which was to provide an amount of $ 500 million to support the response plan for the year 2020, and the signing of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) for a number of contracts to provide the necessary needs of medical devices and supplies to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in Yemen.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, while welcoming the truce, said that the ceasefire is a noble humanitarian initiative.
He, while reaffirming OIC’s support for the Yemeni people, commended the Coalition's announcement of its seriousness and willingness to create appropriate conditions for engaging political efforts and ensuring their success, while alleviating the suffering of the Yemeni people. — SPA
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