October 17, 2016 / 12:11 PM / 10 months ago

Saudi Arabia says sees indications ceasefire could be accepted in Yemen

Member of the Specialized Criminal Prosecution Rajeh Zayed (L) responds to a call during a visit by human rights activists to a community hall that was struck by an air strike during a funeral on October 8, in Sanaa, Yemen, October 16, 2016.Mohamed al-Sayaghi

LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia sees some indications that a ceasefire could be agreed in Yemen but called on Iran-backed Houthis to accept that the impoverished country should be free.

Since March 2015, Yemen has been gripped by war pitting the Houthi group, backed by troops loyal to ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the internationally recognised Hadi government, which is backed by Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said he hoped the United Nations would persuade parties in the conflict to come back to the negotiating table. He said Houthis would have to "come to their senses" and agree that Yemen was free.

The United States and Britain called on Sunday for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Yemen to end violence between Houthis and the government.

Reporting by William James, writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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