Riyadh : Saudi Arabia added 25 people and entities from different nationalities to its terrorism list, saying they are involved in financing Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement, Saudi state media reported on Thursday.
The designations were done “unilaterally and in coordination with the US Treasury Department”, the Presidency of State Security said in a statement on state news agency SPA.
It said those listed were involved in facilitating financial activities of the Houthi group “with support of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps”.
Riyadh, which leads a coalition that has been battling the Houthis for seven years, accuses Iran of providing arms and financial support to the movement, charges denied by Tehran.
Meanwhile, a Saudi official said the kingdom has responded positively to a ceasefire proposal for Yemen presented by United Nations special envoy Hans Grundberg.
Grundberg has said he was engaging with warring parties in Yemen to reach a truce for Ramadan, which starts this weekend.
“We responded positively to his truce and we are supporting his truce proposal,” the official said in a statement.
Grundberg met on Thursday with the Houthi chief negotiator in Muscat and the Saudi-backed government’s prime minister in Riyadh to discuss the truce and “humanitarian measures to ease the freedom of movement of individuals and essential commodities to, from and within Yemen”, his office said on Twitter.
Two sources familiar with the matter had said the UN proposal, backed by the United States, was for a temporary truce in exchange for allowing fuel ships to dock at Houthi-held Hodeidah port and a small number of commercial flights to operate from Sana’a airport.
The coalition has imposed sea and air restrictions on areas held by the Houthis, who ousted the internationally recognised government from power Sana’a, in late 2014. The coalition intervened months later.
A nationwide ceasefire is needed to restart stalled political negotiations to end the conflict which has killed tens of thousands and left 80% of Yemen’s population reliant on aid.
“We want to create a positive and dynamic atmosphere to push the Yemenis towards peace ... There can be no peace without a dialogue with the Houthis,” said the Saudi official, whose country is hosting allied Yemeni parties in Gulf Cooperation Council-sponsored talks in the kingdom.
The Houthis shunned the talks for not being in a “neutral country”.