Russia and the Red Cross are calling on Saudi Arabia to pause its military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen to allow for safe deliveries of civilian aid and the evacuation of foreigners.

The Russian plea came Saturday during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council called by Moscow. A Russian draft proposal demands "regular and obligatory" pauses in airstrikes by the Saudi-led Sunni coalition battling Shi'ite rebels.

In Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross also called for an immediate break in hostilities, saying its aid shipments were being blocked.

Jordan's U.N. ambassador, Dina Kawar, speaking in her role as this month’s council president, said council members hope to reach a decision on the Russian-backed resolution by Monday.

Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab coalition that has been carrying out airstrikes across the country for more than a week to try to halt the advance of Houthi Shi'ite rebels, who've taken over large parts of Yemen. Raids continued Saturday, targeting rebel positions in Sana'a, the capital.

At the United Nations, Russia's deputy ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, said a pause in the military action would help ensure safe evacuations of diplomats and civilians trying to escape the Yemen conflict.

Britain's deputy U.N. ambassador, Peter Wilson, voiced regret for civilian casualties, but said Britain continues to support the Arab coalition. The airstrikes against the Houthi rebels began, he said, in response to "a legitimate request" from President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was driven from power in January and fled from Yemen last week.

"We got to this position because the Houthis, over and over again, violated cease-fires, took military action, took action by force instead of engaging in a genuine way in political talks," Wilson said. "The only way out of this crisis is through a return to genuine political talks on an equal basis, and not using force."

Russia, Red Cross Urge Humanitarian Pause in Yemen Fighting