UN Security Council calls for new Yemen ceasefire - Emirates24|7

UN Security Council calls for new Yemen ceasefire

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed informs about peace talks between Yemen's warring parties during a statement at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. He told reporters in that the talks would begin Dec. 15 in a venue to be determined. (Keystone via AP)

The UN Security Council on Tuesday called for a new ceasefire in Yemen and a return to peace talks despite the diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The 15-member council urged the Saudi-backed government and Shiite rebels to "resume a meaningful and sustainable ceasefire" and engage in dialogue "without pre-conditions," said Uruguay's ambassador Elbio Rosselli, who holds this month's council presidency.

The appeal came a day before UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is due to hold meetings in Riyadh to press for a return to political negotiations and an end to the war.

"We all hope that the parties that have influence in Yemen will be responsible and enter into dialogue and prevent the situation from impacting elsewhere," Rosselli told reporters.

At least 2,795 civilians have been killed in Yemen since a Saudi-led coalition launched an air war in March against Iran-backed Huthi rebels who had overrun the capital Sanaa, the UN said.

The coalition on Saturday announced that it was ending a truce with the rebels that was announced on December 15 but had been repeatedly violated.

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