Saudi-Omani Envoys To Negotiate Ceasefire with Yemen's Houthis

April 7, 2023

Next week, Saudi and Omani envoys plan to visit Yemen’s capital Sanaa to negotiate a permanent ceasefire deal with pro-Iran Houthi officials and end the eight-year-old armed conflict in this country, the Reuters news agency reported.


Houthis Expand Military Operations in Yemen

The Houthis, who control north Yemen, have been fighting against a Saudi-led military alliance since 2015. The Saudi-led coalition had ever since imposed severe restrictions on the flow of goods into import-reliant Yemen, in which war has devastated the economy and contributed to what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Recently, U.N. Special Envoy Hans Grundberg met with senior Omani and Houthi officials in Muscat city to discuss ways to make progress towards an inclusive Yemeni-led political process.

The Saudi-led coalition also lifted eight-year-old bans on imports headed for Yemen’s southern ports. This initiative allows commercial ships to dock directly there.

Two people involved in the discussions with the foreign envoys told the Reuters agency that the negotiations will focus on a full reopening of Yemen’s ports and airports, payment of wages for public servants, a rebuilding process, and a political transition.

Abu Bakr Abeed, deputy head of Yemen’s Chambers of Commerce, said that over 500 types of goods, including fertilizers and batteries, would be allowed back into Yemen through southern ports if these initiatives are approved.

If an agreement is reached, the parties could announce it before Islam’s Eid holiday starting April 20. The U.N. stressed that such an agreement will favor a peaceful political process that would ultimately lead to a transitional unity government.

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