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US and UK seek Yemen ceasefire as relations with Saudis Cool



WASHINGTON – US and UK diplomatic pressure, Saudi Arabia's largest arms supplier, sharply escalated on Wednesday as the Yemeni armistice was the worst humanitarian disaster in the world.

Following the three-and-a-half-year conflict led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, his British counterpart Jeremy Hunt and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a global bombing campaign took place in the context of growing global criticism of Saudi Arabia Main causes of killing and destroying civilians in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world.

"It is time to end this conflict, replace the conflict with a compromise, and enable Yemenis to heal through peace and rebuild," said Pompeo in a statement on the US State Department website.

The impetus comes when relations between Saudi Arabia and the US since a prominent dissident, Jamal Khas, cool down a month hoggi, was killed in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul by a team of Saudi activists working closely with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and the architect of the Yemen War.

"Leverage is one of the key things that makes diplomacy work," said Dennis Ross, senior adviser to the Middle East under President Barack Obama. "And Pompeo has some influence on the Saudis he did not have before."

The Yemen war has killed at least 10,000 people. Repeated efforts by United Nations diplomats to bring about a ceasefire between the main opponents, a Saudi-led military coalition and the Houthi insurgents in Yemen have failed.

Mr. Hunt, Britain's foreign minister, told the BBC that Mr. Pompeo's call for a ceasefire was "a most welcome announcement."

Martin Griffiths, United Nations Special Envoy on the Yemen conflict, also acknowledged. "I urge everyone involved to take this opportunity," Griffiths said in a statement.

Additional support for a ceasefire came from Mr Mattis, US Secretary of Defense, at a performance on Tuesday at the United States Institute of Peace, a Washington research group. Mr Mattis said he believes Saudi Arabia and its main Arab partner, the United Arab Emirates, are ready for talks that Griffiths hopes will meet in November.

"We must come here for peace efforts, and we can not say that we will do so in the future," said Mr. Mattis.

The United States and Britain were themselves increasingly criticizing their support for the Saudi Military forces faced in the Yemen war, which also includes supplies bombs and intelligence.A growing number of US Congressmen from both parties has called on the United States to stop selling weapons and other aids.Residents from Saudi Arabia in the UK have the government of Prime Minister Theresa May urged to do the same.

Last week, Mark Lowcock, chief humanitarian official of the United Nations, said the number of Yemenis in need of emergency food could soon reach 14 million, half the population.

The Saudis intervened in March 2015 in Yemen after the Houthis had occupied much of the country and expelled the Saudi Arabian government in the capital, Sana. The Saudis claim that the Houthis are being supported by Iran, the regional opponent of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for their part, have emphasized that they are among the largest donors to United Nations humanitarian efforts in Yemen. The two countries provided around US $ 930 million or about one third of the United Nations budget for humanitarian aid to Yemen in 2018.

However, questions about this relief pledge arise in light of a report that Saudis and Emiratis demanded positive advertising from the Iraqi government's United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in return for the support.


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