October 16, 2016 / 2:12 PM / 10 months ago

U.S., Britain call for immediate ceasefire in Yemen

LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - The United States and Britain called on Sunday for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Yemen to end violence between Iran-backed Houthis and the government, which is supported by Gulf states.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said if Yemen's opposing sides accepted and moved forward on the ceasefire then the special envoy to the UN, Ould Cheikh Ahmed, would work through the details and announce when and how it would take effect.

"This is the time to implement a ceasefire unconditionally and then move to the negotiating table," Kerry told reporters. "We cannot emphasize enough today the urgency of ending the violence in Yemen," he said after meeting British foreign minister, Boris Johnson, and other officials in London.

Kerry said he, Johnson and Cheikh Ahmed were calling for the implementation of the ceasefire "as rapidly as possible, meaning Monday, Tuesday". (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton Writing by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Mark Potter)

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