LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is prepared to agree to a ceasefire in Yemen if the Iran-backed Houthis agree, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Monday, adding that he was cynical about efforts for peace after numerous previous ceasefire attempts had failed.
The United States and Britain called on Sunday for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Yemen to end violence between Houthis and the government, which is supported by Gulf states.
A Saudi-led campaign in Yemen has come under heavy criticism since an air strike this month on a funeral gathering in the Yemeni capital Sanaa that killed 140 people according to a United Nations’ estimate and 82 according to the Houthis.
Jubeir said the Sunni Kingdom was being very careful to abide by humanitarian law in the Yemen conflict. He said that those responsible for the funeral bombing would be punished while victims would be compensated.
When asked about an offensive on Islamic State militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul, Jubeir said Islamic State would lose the war. But he added that he was worried about Shia militias entering Mosul and “engaging in bloodbaths”. (Reporting by William James, writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison)