Arab Coalition announces halt to military operations in Yemen as peace talks begin

The Arab Coalition on Tuesday announced that it would cease all military operations in Yemen during the month of Ramadan to help create “propitious conditions” for peace talks to end the yearslong war in the country.

The Coalition’s statement came hours after GCC Secretary-General Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf called for a cessation of military operations coinciding with the Yemeni-Yemeni peace talks being held in Saudi Arabia.

“With the view of creating propitious conditions needed for successful consultations and a favorable environment for the Holy Month of Ramadan to make peace, and achieve security and stability in Yemen, the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition hereby announces cessation of military operations in Yemen beginning at (0600) Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in response to His Excellency’s request,” Coalition Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Malki said in a statement.

He added: “This falls under the context of international efforts and initiatives championed by the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen and the Saudi Initiative to reach a comprehensive political resolution to end the Yemeni conflict.”

The Coalition also reaffirmed its “steadfast position” in supporting the internationally recognized government of Yemen.

Saudi Arabia opened the first day of peace talks on Tuesday as the UN and US work to reach a truce between the Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

The Houthis have refused to attend the talks and have repeatedly rejected peace talks over recent years.

Separately, US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking landed in the region to “continue leading US diplomatic efforts to advance a durable, inclusive resolution to the conflict in Yemen and bring immediate relief to the people of Yemen.”

The State Department said Lenderking would also participate in the opening of the Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue and engage with Yemeni participants.

“The United States welcomes opportunities for Yemenis to come together, to represent their diverse experiences and perspectives, and to identify solutions and reforms that can improve the lives of citizens,” a statement from Washington read.

“Yemenis deserve a more peaceful, prosperous country where they can live in safety and dignity.”

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