Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid bin Salman has called for international pressure on Yemen's Houthi rebels to abide by the terms of a UN-brokered ceasefire during a meeting with the US special envoy for Yemen, Timothy Lenderking.
Prince Khalid, the Saudi deputy defence minister, met Mr Lenderking on Friday at the end of a four-day visit to Washington during which he held talks with Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and led the Saudi delegation at a meeting of the US-Saudi Strategic Joint Planning Committee.
“Although the momentum of the truce remains high, I reaffirmed the need for the United Nations and the international community to pressure the Houthis into reopening the roads of Taez, deposit revenue of the Hodeidah port, and engage with peace proposals,” Prince Khalid wrote on Twitter.
The two-month UN-brokered ceasefire began on April 2, at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and has largely held despite reported Houthi violations.
Prince Khalid said he also assured Mr Lenderking of Saudi Arabia's support for a political solution to Yemen's civil war, which began when the Iran-backed rebels overran the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014 and the government abandoned the city in the spring of the following year.
“I affirmed to him the Saudi-led Coalition’s backing of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council and its supporting entities, and our aspirations for reaching a comprehensive political resolution to the crisis that will lead Yemen into peace and prosperity,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Saudi-led coalition entered the war in March 2015 at the request of the internationally recognised government led by Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.
Mr Hadi stepped down in April to make way for a presidential council created following intra-Yemeni political discussions in Riyadh. The Houthi rebels rejected the choice of venue and refused to take part.