Arab Parliament Backs Saudi-Led Mediation in Yemen Conflict
Kuwait, Bahrain, and the Arab Parliament have expressed their support for the ongoing Saudi-Omani mediation efforts aimed at finding a comprehensive solution to the long-standing Yemeni crisis. These statements come as a ray of hope in a conflict that has caused immense suffering to the Yemeni population and garnered international concern.
The Kuwaiti and Bahraini foreign ministries released statements commending the efforts of mediators and their initiative to bring the warring Yemeni factions back to the negotiating table. The primary goal of these talks is to secure a lasting ceasefire agreement and a solution that garners consensus from all sides, all under the auspices of the United Nations.
In a noteworthy development, a 10-member delegation representing the Iran-backed Houthi militia recently flew to Riyadh, marking their first talks within the Kingdom since the Yemen conflict erupted in 2014. This move demonstrates a willingness from the Houthi side to engage in dialogue, albeit after years of hostility.
Oman’s Mediation Role and the Ceasefire
These diplomatic efforts are running parallel to the United Nations’ peace initiatives and have been mediated by Oman. The first round of consultations between Riyadh and Sanaa, held in April, saw Saudi envoys visiting the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. Notably, despite officially lapsing in October, a UN-brokered ceasefire has largely held, providing a glimpse of respite in the conflict-ridden country.
Regional and International Backing
Kuwait reiterated its unwavering support for all regional and international endeavors aimed at resolving the Yemeni crisis. This support aligns with an initiative previously launched by the Gulf Cooperation Council and the relevant United Nations resolutions. Bahrain, too, threw its weight behind Saudi Arabia’s comprehensive peace settlement proposal, announced in March 2021.
(Read Also: Yemen on the Path to Peace: A New Hope Emerges)
Arab Parliament’s Perspective
Adel Al-Asoumi, the chief of the Arab Parliament, expressed optimism regarding the ongoing diplomatic efforts. He articulated his hopes for a resolution that would bring an end to the protracted conflict that has plagued Yemen for years, inflicting severe humanitarian hardships on its people.
Al-Asoumi praised Saudi Arabia’s continuous efforts in seeking a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis and its commitment to defusing tensions between Yemeni factions, ultimately steering the nation towards safety and stability. He also commended Oman for its tireless efforts to bridge the gaps between the various concerned parties.
Background of the Yemen Conflict
The Yemen conflict originated in September 2014 when the Houthi rebels seized control of the capital, Sanaa, in a coup. Subsequently, a Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in March the following year on behalf of the internationally recognized Yemeni government. This intervention marked the beginning of a brutal conflict that has displaced millions of Yemenis and exacerbated what was already one of the world’s most dire humanitarian crises, rooted in decades of conflict and instability.
(Read Also: Gulf Disagreements Threaten Yemen Peace Prospects)
United Nations agencies, along with 91 non-governmental organizations, have repeatedly raised alarms about the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. A staggering 21.6 million people, constituting 75 percent of the population, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. This reflects the scale of suffering and devastation endured by the Yemeni people.
While the six-month ceasefire, which officially lapsed last October, continues to hold, the road to a lasting peace agreement has been marked by slow progress. The recent engagement of Houthi representatives in talks in Riyadh, following the earlier Saudi delegation’s visit to Sanaa, offers a glimmer of hope that substantive steps may be taken toward ending this protracted conflict.
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