05:49 GMT09 April 2020
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    MOSCOW, (Sputnik) – The Saudi-led coalition has welcomed the decision of the Yemeni government to support the call for a ceasefire, voiced by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres amid the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19.

    On Monday, Guterres called for the ceasefire in all the world’s conflicts so that the focus could shift to the true “fight of our lives,” referring to the pandemic of COVID-19. Both the UN-backed government and the Houthi Shia rebels have expressed support for the initiative.

    “The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition endorses and supports the decision of the Yemeni government in accepting the call of the United Nations Secretary-General for a ceasefire in Yemen and combatting the fallouts of COVID-19 outbreak,” the coalition said in a statement on late Wednesday, as quoted by the Saudi Press Agency.

    The coalition has positively assessed the UN efforts aimed at settling the conflict in Yemen and improving the humanitarian situation in the country.

    “The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition supports the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen for a ceasefire, de-escalation, taking practical steps towards confidence-building measures between the two parties on the humanitarian and economic fronts, alleviating the suffering of the Yemeni people and working earnestly to confront the threats of the Coronavirus pandemic and on outbreak prevention,” the statement added.

    Yemen has been mired in a conflict between the UN-backed government, headed by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi, and the Houthis since 2015. The parties signed a ceasefire agreement in late 2018, which, however, has soon collapsed.

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