AL-MUKALLA: Hans Grundberg, the UN’s Yemen envoy, on Thursday, urged the Yemeni government and the Houthis to return to the negotiating table in order to reach a peace agreement and end the conflict as he and other regional and international mediators intensified their efforts.
In a statement following the conclusion of a trip to Riyadh, Grundberg said the main focus of his discussions with Yemeni government representatives, Saudi officials, as well as national and international diplomats, was to open the door for a Yemeni-Yemeni political process supported by the UN and also convince Yemeni parties to renew the UN-brokered ceasefire.
“A sustainable solution to the conflict in Yemen can only be forged by Yemenis. The parties need to come together with others in an inclusive format to build a peaceful future together,” he said, vowing to create the conditions for Yemenis to attain peace. “The UN is committed and ready to provide this platform once the parties take the decisive steps that are needed to make this vision a reality.”
The UN envoy’s appeal came after he met the president of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, and other officials in Riyadh to discuss mediation efforts.
The UN-led peace efforts in Yemen have been largely stalled since late last year when the Houthis rejected a proposal to renew the UN-brokered truce and defied international calls for de-escalation by bombing oil facilities in government-controlled Hadramout and Shabwa, resulting in the suspension of oil exports, the government’s main source of revenue.
Similarly, Tareq Mohammed Saleh from the PLC said that the members’ meeting with Saudi Defense Minister Khaled bin Salman on Wednesday centered on current peace efforts to end the conflict, emphasizing the council’s support for the Saudi peace initiative on Yemen.
“Our national battle is to restore the peace that our people enjoyed under their republic and its political system based on pluralistic democracy and constitutional rule. We support all the efforts made by our brothers and supported by the international community to achieve this objective by putting an end to the Houthi coup and restoring the state,” Saleh said on X.
Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed talked with US Yemen envoy Tim Lenderking in Riyadh about his government’s attempts to stabilize the economy, efforts to establish peace, and the necessity for international action to push the Houthis to comply with peace ideas.
The meeting took place one day after Saeed’s government rejected a proposal by the Houthis to end their siege of the city of Taiz by co-managing the city with the Yemeni government.
On Monday, Mahdi Al-Mashat, head of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, proposed a cessation of hostilities in and around the besieged city of Taiz and the formation of a joint committee with the Yemeni government to administer the city.
Yemen’s Information Minister Muammar Al-Eryani said on Wednesday that the Houthi deployment of soldiers and weaponry around Taiz, as well as their ongoing bombardment of the city’s districts, contradict the proposal, warning that the Yemeni militia is preparing for a more violent escalation in Taiz.
“The Houthi militia must demonstrate good faith by submitting to efforts to revive and consolidate the UN ceasefire, engaging in negotiations to achieve a comprehensive, just, and enduring peace in Yemen, and promptly lifting the siege of Taiz,” the minister said on X.