By AFP – Oct 06,2019 – JORDAN TIMES
RIYADH — Saudi Arabia gave a “positive” response Friday to a truce offer from Houthi rebels in Yemen and called for its implementation.
Since 2015, Riyadh has led a military coalition in support of Yemen’s internationally recognised government against the Houthis, who are backed by Iran.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, according to humanitarian organisations, and left Yemen faced with what the UN terms the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
“The truce announced in Yemen is perceived positively by the kingdom, as this is what it has always sought, and hopes it will be implemented effectively,” vice defence minister, Prince Khalid Bin Salman, wrote on Twitter.
On September 21, the Houthis announced they were ready to make peace with Riyadh, later repeating their offer despite continued Saudi-led coalition air strikes.
Saudi Arabia has said it would judge the Houthis on their “actions and not by their words”.
On Monday, Houthi rebels freed 290 prisoners under an exchange that was part of a de-escalation accord struck in Sweden in December 2018.
Prince Khalid also accused Iran of exploiting the situation in Yemen and “evading responsibility for their terrorist acts”.
The Houthis claimed responsibility for attacks on September 14 against two key Saudi oil installations, that temporarily knocked out half of the OPEC giant’s production.
Riyadh and Washington, however, blamed Iran for the attacks, a charge denied by Tehran.