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Britain Joins Calls To End Hostilities In Yemen, Will Urge UN Action

U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (file photo)

Britain says it will press UN Security Council members to take fresh action to end the hostilities in Yemen.

Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt in a statement on November 5 said he agreed with the UN's Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths "that the time was right for the Council to act to bolster the UN-led process.”

He said Britain would "use all of its influence" to help get "both sides" to the negotiating table to end the deadly conflict, which has been described by many as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran and has killed some 10,000 people.

He was not more specific, but UN diplomats told the Reuters news agency that Britain was working with the United States on a draft resolution to stop the fighting.

Britain’s call comes after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made similar remarks in recent days.

Guterres on November 2 called for a halt to violence in the Gulf country to help pull it back from a "precipice" and pave the way toward peace talks.

On October 30, Pompeo urged a swift cessation of hostilities and a return to negotiations.

Washington is a close ally of Riyadh, and Britain and France have also supported the Saudis. But recent reports of mass civilian deaths caused by bombings of a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen have stung the Western powers, leading to calls for an end to the war.

Iran-backed Shi’ite Huthi rebels in 2015 seized control of much of the west of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia and eight other Arab states intervened militarily in an attempt to restore the internationally recognized government.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP