UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on the parties to work with Martin Griffiths to de-escalate and resume an inclusive Yemeni-led political process
Yemen government, STC and Houthis welcome UN call for coronavirus ceasefire
Update: By the end of Thursday, Houthi and Saudi media outlets were reporting violations of the ceasefire, each pointing the finger at the other party.
Yemen's internationally recognized government, the Houthis and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) welcomed the UN Secretary-General António Guterres call for a ceasefire to tackle coronavirus, which has been recorded in 200 countries worldwide. The Saudi-led coalition announced its support for the Yemeni government's decision to halt fighting.
"The political, economic and health situation in Yemen equires stopping all forms of escalation,” the government said in a statement to the state-run Saba news agency We need to join the global and humanitarian effort to preserve the lives of citizens and deal responsibly with this epidemic," the statement said.
Mahdi Al-Mashat, head of the Supreme Political Council of Houthis, welcomed the efforts of the UN secretary-general and his Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths for an end to the war in Yemen.
"We affirm our full readiness to all efforts and initiatives, within the framework of a comprehensive and real truce that will be felt by the people," Al-Mashat said in a speech published by the Houthi-run arm of Saba news agency in Sana’a.
Also, the UAE-backed STC welcomed the call for a ceasefire and a unified effort to counter the emerging coronavirus.
A statement published by STC media reiterated its call for "all political forces to overcome all differences and unite efforts to confront this dangerous epidemic that threatens everyone."
The Saudi-led coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the coalition supports the UN calls for a ceasefire as well.
Al-Maliki said he also supports practical steps to build confidence between the internationally recognized government and the Houthis on the humanitarian and economic fronts, alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people and work hard to address the risks of the coronavirus pandemic to prevent it from spreading.
On Wednesday, Guterres called on Yemen's warring parties to stop fighting and join efforts to counter the possible spread of the disease.
"The conflict, which has lasted for more than five years, has destroyed the lives of tens of millions of Yemenis, and the ongoing fighting in Al-Jawf and Marib threatens to exacerbate human suffering," spokesman of the secretary-general Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
The secretary-general called on the parties to work with Griffiths to achieve a country-wide de-escalation, to make progress in economic and humanitarian actions that would alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, build trust between the parties and resume an inclusive Yemeni-led political process.
"A political solution is the only way to a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the conflict in Yemen," the statement said.