US calls for end to fighting in Yemen and peace talks within 30 days

Two senior members of the Trump administration have called for 'conflict to be replaced with compromise'

US calls for end to fighting in Yemen and peace talks within 30 days

Mike Pompeo (l) and Jim Mattis (r). Picture by: Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images

The US has called for an end to fighting in Yemen and for peace talks to take place within the next month.

Fighting between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the ousted Yemeni government – supported by a Saudi-led coalition – has been ongoing in Yemen for three years, intensifying the crisis that began with a revolution in 2011.

The conflict has resulted in what has been described by the UN as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with officials recently warning that the country now faces the prospect of a famine.

Thousands of civilians have died during the war - with causes of death ranging from airstrikes to starvation.

In a speech at the US Institute of Peace, US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis acknowledged his country is still supplying "certain information" and other supports (including some refuelling) to the Saudi-led coalition.

However, Mattis said conflict must be replaced with compromise.

He argued: "The longer-term solution - and by longer-term, I mean 30 days from now - we want to see everybody around a peace table, based on a ceasefire, based on a pullback from the border, and then based on ceasing dropping of bombs.

"That will permit the [UN] special envoy - Martin Griffiths, who's very good, he knows what he's doing - to get them together in Sweden and end this war. That is the only way we're going to solve this... improved accuracy of bombs is still a war.

"We've got to move toward a peace effort here - and we can't say we're going to do it in the future. We need to be doing this in the next 30 days."

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also called for an end to the conflict.

In a statement, he said: "The time is now for the cessation of hostilities, including missile and UAV strikes from Houthi-controlled areas into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

"Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen."

He added: "It is time to end this conflict, replace conflict with compromise, and allow the Yemeni people to heal through peace and reconstruction."

Special envoy Martin Griffiths welcomed the calls for an end to hostilities, saying all sides must "seize this opportunity to engage constructively".

Martin Griffiths said: "We remain committed to bring the Yemeni parties to the negotiations table within a month.

"Dialogue remains the only path to reach an inclusive agreement."