Arab News – The Saudi-led coalition fighting in support of Yemen’s government would prefer a broad political settlement to a cease-fire, its spokesman said on Monday.
“I think now it’s not a question of talking about a cease-fire,” Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri told AFP.
Late on Sunday a Houthi rebel leader, Saleh Al-Sammad, proposed a truce on the country’s border with Saudi Arabia in exchange for a halt to Saudi-led airstrikes on his forces.
Al-Assiri said the coalition welcomes “any effort to have a genuine political settlement” under a peace initiative proposed last month by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
This is preferable to a “short cease-fire without any control, without any observation,” he said, adding that “the Saudi border is not and will not be the subject of any discussion.”
Previous truces in the 18-month war collapsed.
After talks in Saudi Arabia with his Gulf counterparts, Kerry outlined a plan which offers the Houthis participation in government in exchange for an end to violence and a surrender of weapons.
The Houthis are allied with soldiers loyal to Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
“If they want to have a cease-fire they know what they have to do,” Al-Assiri said, referring to terms of the Kerry plan which were to be refined under United Nations mediation among the parties.

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