Reuters U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that Yemen’s Houthi group and the Saudi-led coalition fighting it had agreed to a ceasefire from Thursday, as Washington presses for an end to the war before President Barack Obama leaves office.
According to Reuters More than 10,000 people have been killed and over 3 million displaced in the past 20 months in a war that has been overshadowed by the Syria conflict but which has created a humanitarian catastrophe.
Kerry, in what could be his last trip to the Gulf before Obama’s term ends in January, is seeking a breakthrough to end the fighting between the Houthis, and their allied and the Saudi-backed government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Oman confirmed that delegates from the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sanaa had agreed to abide by a cessation of hostilities starting on Nov. 17, provided that the other side in the conflict abided by it, state news agency ONA reported.
ONA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying that peace talks would resume at the end of November on the basis of a plan presented by the U.N. envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s plan provides for the Houthis to withdraw from some cities captured since 2014 and for a new government comprising all parties, including the Houthis, be established to run the country and prepare for elections.
Kerry said the parties “have agreed to work towards the establishing a new national unity government in a safe and secure Sanaa (the capital)… as a goal towards the end of the year”.