Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Saudi State-TV on Monday that the initiative aimed at “ending the conflict” in Yemen and implementing a country-wide ceasefire, opening Sanaa airport and sending oil-carrying vessels Permission will be granted to enter the Hadidah port.
His statement marked the first time that Saudi Arabia has publicly acknowledged its failure to disrupt fuel ships in Hodeidah, which the United Nations calls “unacceptable” on humanitarian grounds. The blockade has starved the hawks of income from oil taxes – but has severely hampered humanitarian agencies in providing aid, including food, in the form of a famine in the country.
Saudi Arabia said the initiative is pending approval by both the Houthi rebels and Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which has Saudi support.
“We hope that this time the Houthis will accept this initiative to avoid leakage of Yemeni blood,” Prince Faisal said.
The Houthi Deputy Foreign Minister Hussain al-Izzi told CNN that the blockade needed to be lifted first, before they agreed to enter peace talks.
“If they [Saudi Arabia] Pick up the blockade and open the airport then there will be a supportive environment to enter the conversation and reach a reliable conclusion. “
The latest attempt to establish a cease-fire
The Iran-aligned Houthi group controls northern Yemen, which includes the strategic port cities of the capital Sanaa and Hodeidah, and has been at war with the Saudi-led military alliance since 2015.
The initiative announced on Monday is the latest of Yemen’s many attempts to establish a truce between the warring parties. This is part of a long-standing dialogue between the anti-UN parties. Recently, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken received no response after the Houthis were offered peace talks.
According to State Department spokesman Ned Price, Blinken spoke to the Saudi foreign minister on Monday about Yemen, discussed the need for all sides to support peace efforts, a ceasefire and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. .
President Joe Biden announced earlier this year that the US would support Saudi Arabia for aggressive campaigns in Yemen, a move taken by lawmakers as “historic.” The United States, however, has not publicly revoked its support for the Saudi blockade.
Angela Dewan, Barbara Arvanitidis, Nicole Gout and Yousef Mavri contributed to this report.