Senior Houthi rebel calls for halt to attacks in Yemen

Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul Turkey

Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul Turkey

Western countries have provided arms and intelligence to the Arab states in the alliance, but have shown increasing reservations about the conflict since the murder of USA -based Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul early last month.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman urged the global community on Monday to halt Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and reiterated the kingdom's support for United Nations efforts to end the war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has given his first major speech since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, expressing support for his son and making no mention of claims the young royal ordered the killing.

"The country is working tirelessly to create more jobs and training for Saudi youth", Salman said.

Salman also accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism in the region, and called on the worldwide community to counter Tehran's nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions.

A Saudi-led coalition has been waging war against the rebels, known as Houthis, to restore Yemen's internationally recognized government to power.

Mr Ali al-Houthi said he wanted to end missile and drone attacks with the aim of "supporting the efforts of the (UN) envoy and proving our good intentions".

The coalition has carried out thousands of air strikes in the impoverished country that have hit schools, markets and hospitals, killing hundreds of people - though it says it does not target civilians.

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Last week, the Saudi public prosecutor announced indictments against 11 people and said a total of 21 individuals were in custody in connection with Khashoggi's murder.

The king voiced support for his favoured son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, saying that the 32-year-old heir to the throne is focused on developing the capabilities of Saudi youth.

Saudi King Salman gives his annual policy speech in the ornate hall of the consultative Shura Council.

He also reaffirmed Saudi support for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, a long-standing position thrown into question a year ago when the crown prince appeared to back a nascent USA peace plan that aligns with that of Israel on key issues. Prince Mohammed was in attendance and seated next to the country's top cleric.

Last week, after offering numerous contradictory explanations for Khashoggi's disappearance, Riyadh said he had been killed and his body dismembered when "negotiations" to convince him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is thought to be a key piece to U.S. attempts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, though the scandal surrounding Khashoggi's killing has thrown a shadow over those efforts.

Saudi King Salman waves during his visit to Qassim province in Qassim, Saudi Arabia. The public prosecutor said it would seek the death penalty for five suspects in the case.

In addition to the Khashoggi case, the public prosecutor has participated in an anti-corruption campaign ordered by Prince Mohammed past year in which scores of princes, ministers and businessmen were arrested and the state said it recovered $100 billion in stolen assets.

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