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Pompeo, Mattis call for Yemen cease-fire, back UN talks

The US secretaries of state and defense threw their support behind the United Nations Yemen envoy’s calls for a cessation of hostilities and for Yemen peace talks to be held in Sweden in November.
A Houthi militant sits guard on the roof of a building overlooking fellow Houthis rallying to denounce the rapid devaluation of the Yemeni Rial in Sanaa, Yemen October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah - RC149994CBB0

WASHINGTON — Amid growing fears of famine and congressional misgivings about US support for the Saudi-led air war in Yemen, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis threw their support behind UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths’ peace efforts, calling for all parties to the conflict to observe a cessation of hostilities and agree to attend peace talks next month, likely in Sweden.

“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,” Pompeo said in a statement Tuesday. He said that subsequently, coalition airstrikes “must cease in all populated areas in Yemen.”

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