US welcomes plans for ceasefire, peace talks in Yemen

WASHINGTON, March 24 (KUNA) — The Obama Administration Thursday welcomed the UN’s announcement that warring sides in Yemen have agreed to a “cessation of hostilities” beginning April 10, followed by peace talks hosted by Kuwait on April 18.
“The time for fighting in Yemen to end is now. We urge all parties to take steps to de-escalate violence as soon as possible,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters. “It is imperative they all honor the upcoming cessation of hostility, or risk, frankly, protracting this conflict at further cost to human life.” UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed revealed the news Wednesday.
A pause in fighting will also help aid agencies deliver much-needed humanitarian relief, he added.
“It’s only by returning to a peaceful, political transition process that Yemen can address the urgent humanitarian crisis and rebuild the economy to create the better future the Yemeni people desperately want and deserve,” Toner said. (end) ys.ibi