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Yemen Conflict Saudi Arabia proposes humanitarian pause in war

Speaking at a press conference, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said the ceasefire would only be on the condition that the Houthi rebels also halt the fighting.

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play Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir and US Secretary of State, John Kerry (Al Jazeera)

Saudi Arabia has proposed a 5-day ceasefire in Yemen's war to facilitate humanitarian aid to civilians in the conflict-stricken country, reports say.

Speaking at a press conference with United States Secretary of State John Kerry, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir made the announcement, adding that the ceasefire would only be on the condition that the Houthi rebels also halt the fighting.

He also said that the exact date of the ceasefire will be announced "shortly" and it would mean the coalition of Arab countries will cease air strikes "in all of Yemen."

Kerry welcomed the proposal, calling on the Houthis and their supporters "use all their influence not to miss this opportunity to find a peaceful way forward."

He also hinted that the ceasefire could be "renewable" if the fighting halts.

Meanwhile, reacting to the UN plea of Yemen's ambassador to deploy ground troops, Kerry said "neither the US nor Saudis are talking about sending ground troops to Yemen."

Speaking in an interview with Al Jazeera, Houthi activist and supporter Hussain al-Bukhaiti, said that it is likely that the armed group would accept the proposal.

However a ceasefire does not mean that Yemeni tribesmen will withdraw from areas they control near the border with Saudi. 

Pro-government fighters and Houthi rebels have been locked in conflict for months in a battle which for pro-government forces and the Saudi-led coalition is a move to restore the now-exiled Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

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