Aden, London-The United States, Britain and the United Nations called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Yemen to begin on Monday or Tuesday.
The international call for truce came during a meeting on Yemen held in London on Sunday, in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
In a joint statement issued at the outset of the meeting, the foreign ministers expressed the urgency to find a solution to the Yemeni crisis to end bloodshed and human sufferings. They also urged warring parties to work with the U.N. envoy in accordance with the Gulf Initiative, the outcome of the national dialogue and the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, in particular UNSCR 2216.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed urged the warring parties in the country’s civil war to declare a ceasefire they said could start within days.
For his part, Kerry said: “This is the time to implement a ceasefire unconditionally and then move to the negotiating table.”
The U.S. Secretary of State was speaking to reporters following a meeting with Jubeir.
“We cannot emphasize enough today the urgency of ending the violence in Yemen,” Kerry said, adding he wants to see a truce “as rapidly as possible, meaning Monday, Tuesday.”
He stressed that an unconditional ceasefire should be implemented to end violence between Houthi rebels and the legitimate government.
Johnson and Ould Cheikh Ahmed also reiterated Kerry’s call.
“We are here to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, which will be declared in the next few hours”, the international envoy said.
He added that he had been in contact with negotiators representing Houthi rebels and with the government of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
For his part, Johnson said: “The fatalities that we’re seeing there are unacceptable. There should be a ceasefire and the U.N. should lead the way in calling for that ceasefire.”
The conflict has killed almost 6,900 people, wounded more than 35,000 and displaced at least three million since March last year, according to the United Nations.