United Nations calls for peace as starvation looms in conflict-stricken Yemen

US must be careful not to hand Yemen to Iran

Modal Trigger Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman AFP Getty Images

The Saudi-led coalition of Arab states has ordered a temporary halt to its military offensive on the Yemeni portal city of Hudaydah under global pressure, Reuters reported.

Britain said on Friday it will push the United Nations Security Council to back a humanitarian truce in Yemen as the U.N. Yemen envoy said the warring parties had given "firm assurances" they were committed to attending peace talks shortly in Sweden.

The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the rebels since 2015 in an attempt to restore that government to power.

After the Senate killed a proposal by Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) on Thursday to block $300 million in USA arms sales to Bahrain - a key Saudi coalition ally in the Yemen war - Senators proposed another bill that would suspend all US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and block the refueling of Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen.

"I believe we are close to resolving issues to make this happen".

"We must seize this positive global momentum on Yemen", he told the U.N.'s most powerful body.

"If we find there are particular battles or if there is an increase in activity - for example in Hudaydah - between now and when we meet in Sweden, then we may not get there", the envoy, a former British diplomat from Wales, said. Officials say this is meant to bolster peace talks.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in Turkey and was an outspoken critic of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

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"This is a crucial moment for Yemen", he said, warning that a flareup of fighting on the ground could derail the peace effort. The war, almost four years old, may have killed as many as 80,000 people, according to the figures.

The conflict in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, began when the Yemeni government slashed fuel subsidies in the summer of 2014, prompting massive protests in Sanaa.

Eighty percent of food imports to impoverished Yemen pass through Hodeidah.

On Monday, the United Kingdom is expected to present a draft resolution to the Security Council to address the conflict, Ambassador Karen Pierce said.

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee largely sided with the administration even as they expressed concern over the Yemen conflict, saying ending arms sales to a coalition partner would do little to end the war in Yemen.

Also both Mark Lowck, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Executive Director of the UN World Food Program, David Beasley are expected to present their reports on Yemen.

Turkey alleges the Saudis were responsible for his death and the U.S. announced Thursday it was imposing punitive sanctions on 17 Saudi officials who it said were responsible for or complicit in the killing.

Aid groups say they were able to get some food into the east of Hodeidah during the pause. Otherwise, he warned, "we will be in the position of deciding which children live and which children die".

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