China Pushing for Ceasefire in Yemen

China Pushing for Ceasefire in YemenChina Pushing for Ceasefire in Yemen

China is seriously concerned about the worsening situation in Yemen and wants all sides to stop fighting and resolve the dispute through talks, China's ambassador to the country was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

China, a low-key diplomatic player in the Middle East despite its reliance on oil from the region and permanent membership of the UN Security Council, has repeatedly expressed worry about the fighting in Yemen and called for a political solution.

"China is seriously concerned at continuing upheaval in Yemen and the worsening humanitarian situation," Ambassador Tian Qi said during a teleconference with the UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, according to China's Foreign Ministry, Reuters reported.

"China hoped a ceasefire would be achieved as soon as possible and that all parties follow UN resolutions and look for a political solution. China was willing to do what it could to help."

In April, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Saudi Arabia's King Salman in a telephone call that efforts should be stepped up to seek a political solution to the crisis in Yemen.

Houthis took control of the capital in September and advanced on the southern city of Aden. A Saudi-led coalition has carried out airstrikes on Yemen since March 26 to restore Yemen's fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power who fled to the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Saudi-Led Airstrikes Underway

Saudi-led airstrikes killed at least 19 people across Yemen on Tuesday, Yemeni sources said.

The Houthis news agency said three women had been killed by shelling in Haidan, in the northern Saada Province. The agency also said three Yemenis had been killed and four injured in the Hamdan district of Sanaa.

The Saudi-led military coalition also launched airstrikes on the Yemeni Defense Ministry compound in Sanaa among other positions. On Sunday, Saudi-led airstrikes on Sanaa killed at least 45 people and wounded 100. The raids hit residential buildings, including five houses that were completely destroyed, according to witnesses.

On Monday, Saudi state news agency SPA said two Saudi soldiers had been killed when border posts in Dhahran al-Janoub in southern Saudi Arabia were shelled from inside Yemeni territory.

The fighting comes amid continued preparations to bring representatives of the Hadi government, Houthi forces and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh to talks in Geneva next week.

The party of Saleh on Tuesday welcomed UN-brokered peace talks due to open in Switzerland at the weekend.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who will attend the opening, has urged all sides to join the talks without preconditions in a bid to end a conflict which has killed more than 2,000 people since March.

However, Hadi played down next week's talks, saying they will only address ways to implement a Security Council resolution demanding Houthis to retreat. He had earlier denied a UN-sponsored meeting on June 14 aimed at wider reconciliation or finding a political compromise to end the conflict.