WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday hailed the announcement of a 72-hour truce in Yemen starting later this week, and called for its “unconditional renewal.”
The cessation of hostilities between Yemeni forces and their Saudi backers, and Houthi rebels and allied forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, is due to take effect Thursday.
“This cessation requires all parties to implement a full and comprehensive halt to military activities of any kind, and help facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Yemenis across the country,” Kerry said in a statement.
“We ask the parties to take all steps necessary to advance the implementation of this cessation, call on them to sustain it, and strongly encourage its unconditional renewal.”
Kerry echoed an urgent plea from UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to allow unfettered access for humanitarian supplies and personnel throughout the country.
“The people of Yemen are depending on the full cooperation of all parties with the special envoy’s request,” Kerry said.
“We note again that peaceful resolution of this conflict requires compromises and commitments by everyone,” he said.
“The United States, alongside the international community, is ready to provide assistance and will continue to work with all parties to conclude a negotiated settlement that will bring a permanent and lasting end to the conflict.”