CAIRO — The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen announced Wednesday that its forces would begin a cease-fire starting Thursday, a step that could pave the way for the first direct peace talks between the two sides that have been at war for more than five years.In a statement carried by Saudi Arabia’s official state news agency, a Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said that the ceasefire would last two weeks and that it comes in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.He said the ceasefire could be extended to pave the way for all the parties “to discuss proposals, steps, and mechanisms for sustainable ceasefire in Yemen … for a comprehensive political solution in Yemen.”Colonel Turki Al-Malki briefs members of the press on missile debris fired on March 28 by Houthi rebels and intercepted by Riyadh.AFP – Getty ImagesThere was no immediate reaction from Houthi leaders or Yemen’s internationally recognized government to the coalition’s statement.Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.Within hours of the announcement, residents in the contested Yemeni province Marib said a suspected Houthi missile struck a security building in the

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