“Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Yemen Visits Houthi-Held Capital in Push for Truce and Political Solution”

Saudi Arabias Ambassador to Yemen Visits Houthi Held Capital in Push for Truce and Political Solution
Saudi Arabias Ambassador to Yemen Visits Houthi Held Capital in Push for Truce and Political Solution
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Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, announced on Twitter on Monday that he had travelled to the Houthi-held capital of Sanaa to strengthen the truce and push for dialogue that could end Yemen’s eight-year-old war. Al-Jaber stated that he was visiting Sanaa with a delegation from Oman to support the prisoner exchange process and explore ways of achieving a sustainable, comprehensive political solution between Yemeni components. The Saudi delegation’s visit to Sanaa is part of a series of diplomatic activities to end the conflict between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the internationally recognised Yemeni government, which is supported by a Saudi-led coalition.

A truce was announced roughly a year ago, significantly reducing active hostilities within Yemen, and is still largely respected, even though it officially expired in October. A Yemeni government source revealed that the Saudis and Houthis had agreed in principle on a new six-month truce, paving the way for talks on establishing a two-year “transition.” Al-Jaber’s visit follows a recent surprise rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, brokered by China and announced a month ago, fuelling hopes for a cessation of fighting that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and triggered what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The deal on a new truce is expected to fulfil critical Houthi goals, including paying salaries of civil servants in Houthi-controlled areas and lifting operational restrictions on Houthi-controlled airports and ports. While the Saudi officials have not provided details or responded to requests for comment about the meetings in Sanaa, Houthi media showed Al-Jaber shaking hands with the Houthis’ political leader, Mahdi al-Mashat, on Sunday.

Yemen has been in the throes of conflict since 2014, when the Houthis seized Sanaa, prompting the Saudi-led coalition to intervene the following year. Since then, the war has had a catastrophic impact on Yemen, with tens of thousands of people killed and millions facing starvation and disease. The conflict has also triggered one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises, with the majority of the population in need of assistance.

Al-Jaber’s visit, along with the flurry of diplomatic activities, offers a glimmer of hope that the conflict may soon come to an end. While a sustainable and comprehensive political solution remains elusive, the renewed efforts and negotiations provide some hope for Yemenis, who have suffered for far too long.

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