Saudi Foreign Minister says efforts to extend the truce in Yemen still stand

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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister said that the efforts to extend the truce in Yemen still stand, Al Arabiya TV reported on Wednesday, after an initial UN-brokered pact between a Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi movement expired early this month, Reuters reports.

The Kingdom, the coalition and the Riyadh-backed Yemeni government are “keen on extending the truce,” the Saudi-owned TV quoted Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, as saying.

The United Nations is pressing for an extended and expanded truce that would build on the two-month one that expired on 2 October, after being rolled over twice, and which has brought the longest stretch of relative calm in the seven-year conflict.

US Special Envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, headed back to the region on Tuesday to support the UN-led negotiations with Yemeni parties, according to the State Department.

Lenderking, last week, called on the Iran-aligned Houthis, de facto authorities in the north, to show more flexibility in the negotiations, specifically on the United Nations’ proposed mechanism to pay public sector wages.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the internationally recognised government from the capital, Sana’a. The group says it is fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands and caused a dire humanitarian crisis that has pushed millions into hunger.

READ: Yemen’s Houthis should be more flexible over truce deal, says US Envoy

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