The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen has declared a two-week ceasefire in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the war-torn country, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The United Nations has repeatedly called on both sides to stop hostilities so efforts can be focused on preventing the virus from spreading in the country.
Announcing the unilateral ceasefire, the coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki on Wednesday said: "We are expecting the Houthis will accept".
Malki also said the temporary ceasefire would pave the way for talks between the Saudi-backed government in Aden, and Iran-backed Houthi rebels based in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.
Griffiths welcomed the ceasefire and called on warring parties to "utilize this opportunity and cease immediately all hostilities with the utmost urgency, and make progress towards comprehensive and sustainable peace". All parties are expected to hold a meeting under Griffith's supervision to discuss his proposals on steps and mechanisms for a permanent truce in Yemen, steps to build humanitarian and economic confidence, and the resumption of the political process between the Yemeni parties to reach a political solution in Yemen.
The UN and Western allies have pointed to the threat of the coronavirus to push Yemen's combatants to agree to fresh talks to end a war that has left millions vulnerable to disease.
There was no immediate response to from the Houthi rebels or the internationally recognized Yemen government.
Highlighting the historic ties between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, he said: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always been a pioneer in supporting the brotherly Yemeni people during the past forty years, and we will continue to stand with Yemen during these circumstances".
The conflict, largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and its regional arch-foe Iran, has unleashed an urgent humanitarian crisis that has pushed millions to the verge of starvation, forced millions more to seek shelter in displacement camps and sparked outbreaks of cholera and diphtheria.
Fighting recently escalated again between the Huthis and Riyadh-backed Yemen government troops around the strategic northern provinces of Al-Jouf and Marib, ending a months-long lull. But a recent spike in violence, including ballistic missiles fired towards Riyadh last month and retaliatory coalition air strikes, threatens fragile peace deals in vital port cities.