UN welcomes Houthi offer to end Saudi Arabia attacks

UN welcomes Houthi offer to end Saudi Arabia attacks
Source: BBC
Date: 22-09-2019 Time: 01:09:20:am

The UN has welcomed a proposal from Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels to end all attacks on Saudi Arabia as part of a peace initiative.

A statement said the proposal could send "a powerful message of the will to end the war".

The offer comes a week after drone and missile strikes hit Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

Houthi rebels have claimed to have carried out the attack, but the US and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran.

Tehran denies any involvement in the strikes.

Yemen's civil war has killed 10,000 and pushed millions to the edge of starvation in what has become the world's worst man-made humanitarian disaster.

Saudi Arabia and its regional allies drastically escalated the conflict in 2015 when they launched an air campaign against the Houthis, who had ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and seized the capital, Sanaa.

The Houthis have launched numerous drone, missile and rocket attacks on the Gulf kingdom.

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What have the Houthis offered?

In a televised announcement, Houthi Supreme Political Council chair Mahdi al-Mashat said the group would end all strikes on Saudi Arabia, provided the kingdom and its allies did the same.

"We reserve the right to return and respond in the case there is no reaction to our initiative," he said, and called on all parties in Yemen to work towards "comprehensive national reconciliation".

On Saturday, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths welcomed the halt on strikes and the calls for a political solution.

"The special envoy stresses the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity and moving forward with all necessary steps to reduce violence, military escalation and unhelpful rhetoric," a statement issued from his office read.