Britain and US call for Yemen ceasefire

Britain and the US have called for a ceasefire in Yemen “within hours” as they tried to seize on outrage caused by the killing of 140 people in a Saudi airstrike.

Fighting between Iranian-backed Houthis and the Yemeni government, which is supported by Gulf states, has lasted more than 18 months, far longer than the Gulf states expected.

The US secretary of state, John Kerry, said if Yemen’s opposing sides accepted and moved forward on a ceasefire then the UN special envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, would work through the details and announce when and how it would take effect.

Kerry said he, Johnson and Cheikh Ahmed were calling for the implementation of a ceasefire “as rapidly as possible, meaning Monday, Tuesday”. Kerry and Johnson also met the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir.

On 8 October a Saudi air raid on a funeral killed 140 people and wounded 525 others, drawing severe criticism of the Arab coalition.

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