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Britain to push UN Security Council to back humanitarian truce in Yemen

Britain to push UN Security Council to back humanitarian truce in Yemen

In a surprise move, 12 days into their offensive against the vital Yemeni aid port of Hodeidah, the Saudi-led coalition has announced an immediate, albeit temporary, pause of the advance.

Griffiths' last effort to get the parties together in Geneva in September fell apart, when the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels skipped the talks with Saudi-supported Yemeni government officials. Mr Griffiths refused to be drawn on whether the journalist's death had galvanised global efforts to pressure Saudi Arabia to end the Yemen war.

So, if the American people would speak out and say, support the people that are starving to death in Yemen because of this war, I think, hopefully, that will wake up the political leadership to do what's good, to do what's right, first and foremost support the humanitarian needs, and then, number two - and that - and I think that's the most important thing - bring this war to an end.

Martin Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council that he planned to bring the warring parties together "soon" in Sweden. If we have the stoppage of the war, if we can resolve that larger conflict, it gives us a chance to start building peace. But, at the same time, until that war does end, please make certain that we, like the World Food Program, have the support financially that we need to scale up and ramp up. UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said the Emirates supported United Nations plans to hold peace talks in Sweden by the end of the year.

Western countries have provided arms and intelligence to the Arab states in the alliance, but have shown increasing reservations about the conflict since the murder of US-based Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul early last month. "We are prepared to do that, we do not want to do that, but if that's what it takes we will do it", he said. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the committee chairman, said Bahrain is home to a naval base with 7,800 United States service members protecting American interests and serving as a buffer against the Iranian regime.

The security council also heard from the under-secretary for humanitarian affairs, Mark Lowcock, and the World Food Programme executive director, David Beasley.

The UAE which forms part of the Saudi effort said it was looking forward to the peace talks.

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The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of the capital of Sanaa by the Houthis, which overthrew Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Hudaida port is the entry point for almost all food imports and humanitarian aid into impoverished Yemen.

On Monday, the United Kingdom is expected to present a draft resolution to the Security Council to address the conflict, Ambassador Karen Pierce said.

Quoting sources, Al Jazeera reported that if the bill eventually becomes a law, it would suspend weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and prohibit USA refuelling of Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen.

"It was just like tickling a ghost", Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, told reporters in NY on Friday after returning from a three-day visit to the war-torn, impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

Beasley said the price of basic food staples in Yemen had doubled in the past eight months, even as household incomes shrunk.