Saudi-led Coalition Announces Ceasefire in Yemen Ahead of Peace Talks in Riyadh

The Saudi-led coalition has announced a ceasefire in Yemen starting March 30 as peace talks led by the Gulf Cooperation Council kicked off in Riyadh, the capital Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without the participation of Houthis, who refuse to travel to “enemy territory” for talks.

“The coalition hereby announces the cessation of military operations in Yemen beginning at 0600 am (0300 GMT) Wednesday, March 30, 2022,” Saudi coalition said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

The coalition said the ceasefire is aimed at creating favorable conditions needed for successful consultation and a better environment for the month of Ramadan to achieve peace and security in Yemen.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) invited the parties to the Yemen conflict to talks in Riyadh, however, the Iranian-backed Houthis declined to participate.

The ceasefire was announced days after Houthis launched drone strikes against Saudi Arabia on Friday, causing major fires at an oil facility in the port city of Jeddah, promoting Saudi to intensify airstrikes, targeting Houthis in Yemen’s capital city Sanaa.

The United Nations Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, and US envoy Tim Lenderking will be attending the discussions of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to find a political way out of the Yemen crisis which is entering its eight years.

 “Yemen needs a truce. I am engaging with the parties with a sense of urgency to reach this truce by the beginning of Ramadan,” Grundberg told the gathering on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE began the talks on Tuesday in Riyadh and are expected to continue through April 7.

Quoting two sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that the UN proposal was for a temporary truce in exchange for allowing fuel ships to dock at Houthi-held Hodeidah port and a small number of commercial flights to operate from Sanaa airport.

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