UN welcomes Houthi move to halt attacks on Saudi Arabia

CAIRO (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Yemen says the Houthi rebels' initiative to halt attacks on Saudi Arabia "could send a powerful message of the will to end the war" in Yemen.

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Martin Griffiths' comments Saturday came hours after the Houthi announcement, and a week after the rebels claimed a strike that crippled a key oil facility in Saudi Arabia.

Griffiths called for "taking advantage of this opportunity and moving forward with all necessary steps to reduce violence, military escalation and unhelpful rhetoric."

Saudi Arabia has led a military coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen since 2015. That conflict has killed tens of thousands of people.

The U.S. and the Saudis blamed the Sept. 14 attack on Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels. Tehran denies any responsibility.

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