Saudi Arabia on Monday proposed a ceasefire deal to Yemen's Houthi rebels in the hopes of halting the country's civil war that has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The U.S. State Department welcomed the offer, reiterating previous calls for all parties involved in the conflict to agree to the terms "immediately and engage in negotiations under the auspices" of the United Nations. But the Houthis dismissed the proposal as "nothing new," Agence France-Presse reports.
A senior Houthi official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the rebels are communicating directly with the Saudis, who back a coalition (which the U.S. used to, but no longer, supports) fighting the Houthis. The official reportedly said Riyadh would have to enhance the proposal if the Houthis were to accept it.
The Middle East Institute's Nadwa Dawsari explained that the Houthis won't budge until Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates completely and unconditionally leave Yemen. Tim O'Donnell