November 15, 2016 / 2:29 PM / 3 years ago

Yemeni government says not interested in Kerry's truce announcement

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi speaks to the media after the Yemen peace talks in Switzerland in Bern in this December 20, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

DUBAI (Reuters) - Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi said on Tuesday his government was not interested in a ceasefire and unity government announcement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry aimed at ending the country’s nearly 20-month conflict.

“The government was not aware of nor is it interested in what Secretary Kerry announced, which represents a desire to scuttle peace efforts by trying to reach an agreement with the Houthis apart from the government,” Mekhlafi wrote on his official twitter page.

Kerry had announced during a visit to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday that parties to the conflict in Yemen have agreed to a cessation of hostilities starting on Nov. 17 and that they intend to work towards setting up a unity government.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in a civil war to back internationally recognized President Abd-Rabu Mansour Hadi against the Iran-allied Houthi movement in March 2015.

Reporting by Reem Shamseddine, writing by Sami Aboudi

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