The Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen declared a two-week cease-fire starting Thursday, in a bid to combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Announcing the unilateral cease-fire, the coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki on Wednesday said: “We are expecting the Houthis will accept. We are preparing the ground to fight COVID-19” in Yemen. Read more: Houthis welcome Saudi support for cease-fire amid pandemic There was no immediate response to from the Houthi rebels or the internationally recognized Yemen government.First direct peace talks The cease-fire comes in response to a United Nations call to end hostilities in a bid to protect Yemeni civilians from the pandemic, Maliki said. The cease-fire could be extended if the Houthis responded “positively” to the announcement, he said. It could pave the way for the warring sides to “to discuss proposals, steps, and mechanisms for sustainable cease-fire in Yemen… for a comprehensive political solution in Yemen,” the Saudi official said. The peace talks proposed would be the first face-to-face negotiations between the two sides since the war began in March 2015. Read more: Yemen war marks 5 years with no end in sight The war in Yemen has killed more than 100,000 people and left millions… Read full this story
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