Tue Sep 19 2017, 18:19:28 +03

US Kerry meets King Salman, Riyadh proposed a conditional five day ceasefire in Yemen

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(Riyadh-AlummahWorld, 19 Rajab 1436, 08 May 2015) The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received at Al-Yamamah Palace here today the Secretary of State of the United States of America John Kerry and his accompanying delegation. It was an important meeting after GCC Summit in Riyadh in which French president was also invited to address.

During their meeting, King Salman and Kerry discussed bilateral relations, a number of issues of common interest and overall developments on regional and international arenas, Saudi Press Agency reported. The audience was attended by Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior; Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense; Minister of State and Cabinet Member Dr. Musaed Bin Muhammad Al-Aiban; Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel Bin Zaid Al-Toraifi; and Al-Jubeir.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on Thursday proposed a five-day humanitarian pause in Yemen operation after weeks of airstrikes and fighting, but said a ceasefire depended on the Houthi militia and its allies also agreeing to lay down arms.

KSA DM and Kerry US

John Kerry meeting KSA Defence Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz

Addressing a press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Riyadh, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said the Kingdom would halt airstrikes in Yemen because it is determined to expand relief assistance to the Yemeni people. Saudi Arabia will provide $274 million in new assistance, he said.
 
Kerry welcomed the proposal and added that neither Saudi Arabia nor the United States was talking about sending ground troops into Yemen.
 
Kerry said the so-called “humanitarian pause” wouldn’t start for several days, enough time for diplomatic efforts to convince the Houthi rebels and their backers to accept the terms of the deal. He said aid organizations also needed time to coordinate the best strategy for getting food, fuel and medicine into and around the country.

KSA FM and US Kerry

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Riyadh

The announcement was made after Kerry met Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and other top Saudi officials in Riyadh. Kerry praised King Salman for seeking a peaceful resolution to Yemen’s war and for inviting “all relevant parties” to an upcoming peace conference in Saudi Arabia.
 
Kerry said the ceasefire would mean “no bombing, no shooting” and no repositioning of forces. But he and Al-Jubeir insisted the feasibility of the plan depended on the Houthis and the Iranians agreeing to it and not trying to exploit the lull in fighting. They said they would provide an update Friday in Paris, where they will gather with the foreign ministers of other Arab countries.
 
The fighting and a coalition arms embargo have also caused hunger and shortages of food and fuel, worsening Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and prompting alarm around the world.
 
“The pause will affect all of Yemen for a period of five days. The actual date will be announced shortly as well as the requirements. This is all based on the Houthis complying with the ceasefire,” Jubeir said.
 
Despite the airstrikes, the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have remained entrenched in areas they seized earlier this year and on Wednesday took an important district in Aden, leading to speculation about a possible coalition land operation.
 
Kerry added that he was “very, very concerned” by Iranian activities in Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere.
 
Earlier in the day, Kerry met with Yemen’s exiled President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, and his vice president and foreign minister. “Hopefully we’ll see you in Sanaa soon,” Hadi told the top American diplomat. Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, is controlled by the Houthis.
“Ah,” Kerry replied, “there’s some work to do.”

Analysts warning that the proposed ceasefire would be a bigger test to make sure that Houthi rebells and their allies are abiding the basics of a break. They also noted that rebells may resort to enjoy a ceasefire for further advancement in Aden and elsewhere.