UN-Led Ceasefire in Yemen Expires, But Fighting Subsides Amidst Ongoing Diplomatic Efforts
In a recent discussion at the United Nations General Assembly, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken converged to discuss the persisting situation in Yemen. This discussion took place following a gathering of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), aiming to explore their shared commitment to fostering peace in Yemen.
Shared Regional Priorities and Commitment to Peace
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council President Rashad Al Alimi earlier that week, underscoring Yemen as a significant focus for Blinken. They addressed shared regional priorities, among which was their commitment to the resolution of the conflict in Yemen. The alignment of the three countries – UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the US – on the way forward in Yemen was confirmed in these meetings.
A Brief Overview of the Yemen Conflict
The conflict in Yemen, which started in September 2014, has seen some respite in recent years. A UN-brokered ceasefire in April 2022 led to a decrease in fighting, which has mostly continued despite the ceasefire expiring in October 2022.
Riyadh’s Historic Talks with Houthi Rebels
In a significant development, Riyadh hosted the Houthi rebels for several days of talks. This marked the first official visit by a Houthi delegation to the kingdom since 2014, following the Iran-backed group’s ousting of the internationally recognized government in Sanaa. The dialogue reiterated the kingdom’s ongoing support for Yemen and its people and its commitment to encouraging Yemeni parties to engage in dialogue. The ultimate goal is to reach a comprehensive and lasting political solution under the United Nations’ supervision.
International Support for Peace Talks
Blinken welcomed the talks in Riyadh, emphasizing the urgent need for a resolution to the conflict in Yemen. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the US agreed on the necessity of cooperation among the three governments and Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council to advance the UN-led peace efforts. The discussions consistently centered on achieving a durable resolution to the ongoing conflict in Yemen and maintaining peace and stability in the region.
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