The United Nations envoy for Yemen welcomed Saturday an offer from the country's Huthi rebels to halt all attacks on Saudi Arabia , saying it could bring an end to years of bloody conflict.

Implementation of the initiative by the Huthis "in good faith could send a powerful message of the will to end the war," Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said.

The Iran-backed Huthis, which control the capital Sanaa and other parts of Yemen, have been fighting against a Saudi-led coalition that supports the country´s internationally recognized government in a devastating five-year war.

Griffiths hailed "the desire for a political solution to end the conflict" in a statement issued from UN headquarters in New York.

On Friday, the Huthis proposed halting attacks on Saudi Arabia as part of a peace initiative.

Saudi Arabia gave a cautious response, with minister of state for foreign affairs Adel al-Jubeir saying on Saturday,"We judge other parties by their deeds, actions and not by their words, so we will see (whether) they actually do this or not."

Griffiths stressed "the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity and moving forward with all necessary steps to reduce violence, military escalation and unhelpful rhetoric."