Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan expressed his hope that the Houthis would take advantage of what he called "an opportunity" to respond to the initiative of the Saudi-Emirati coalition in Yemen to cease fire.
The truce announced by the coalition unilaterally for two weeks had entered into effect on Thursday noon, but the Houthi group rejected it, considering that it is just a "maneuver" that will not succeed unless accompanied by a lifting of the blockade, and accusing the other party of continuing the military escalation on several fronts.
The Saudi Foreign Minister said in his tweets on Twitter that the coalition's ceasefire initiative comes to support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, with the aim of ending the conflict and focusing all efforts away from the military escalation to combat the Corona pandemic.
For his part, the UN envoy's office said that the latter is working to review its proposals for a cease-fire at the national level, a set of economic and humanitarian measures, the resumption of the political process, and enhanced coordination of efforts to counter the Corona virus.
Griffiths said he was seeking to bring the parties to the Yemeni crisis into a video conference as soon as possible to formally conclude the agreements, and he had previously expressed his hope that the ceasefire would contribute to preparing for steps that would enhance confidence-building and a peaceful solution.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Rapp also announced his country's support for a ceasefire in Yemen, saying, "This is an important step towards a permanent ceasefire that Yemenis need. I call on the government of Yemen and the Houthis to immediately stop all hostilities and participate constructively in these proposals."
He also called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the Houthis to reciprocate the cease-fire announced by Riyadh, praising the call of the UN envoy for urgent negotiations to end the war.
Earlier yesterday, Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen Saleh said that directives were issued by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi in response to the ceasefire call endorsed by the Saudi-Emirati coalition.
As for the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, he said in a Tweet on Thursday that he hoped that the Houthis would abide by the truce declared by the coalition.
The Arab League also called for the Houthi group to respond to the ceasefire initiative.
It is noteworthy that the Houthi group and the Yemeni government had reached, at the end of 2018, under international sponsorship, a peace agreement and an exchange of thousands of prisoners in the coastal city of Hodeidah (western Yemen), but the agreement remained a dead letter and was not fully implemented.