“Terrible conditions” in Yemen worsen as Houthis pressure the Marib offensive, the Saudis urged to ease the blockade, the U.S. says.
Houthi representatives “missed a great opportunity” by refusing to meet in Oman with UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, the U.S. State Department said Friday, urging to all parties to negotiate the end of the brutal six-year conflict.
“There is a fair agreement on the table that will bring immediate relief to the Yemeni people,” the State Department said in a statement released on the return to the United States of Special Envoy Tim Lenderking from a round of meetings in Oman , Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
“Contrary to their statements on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, the Houthis worsen by continuing to attack Marib and exacerbate the appalling conditions for already vulnerable and internally displaced Yemenis,” the State Department statement said.
U.S. President Joe Biden appointed Lenderking to revive diplomatic efforts to end the war in Yemen. Biden announced it the end of US military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, guilty of targeting civilians, and launched a diplomatic effort to find a political solution in Yemen.
Iranian – backed houthis have been attacking government forces in the Marib’s oil-rich province in a push to gain leverage in any political agreement. Lenderking told the U.S. Congress last month that Iran provided material support and weapons to the Houthis.
In Saudi Arabia, Lenderking held meetings with senior government officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who urged to facilitate the Saudi blockade from Hodeidah Seaport and Sanaa Airport.
After meetings in Oman and Jordan, Lenderking returned to Riyadh to meet with senior officials and urged the Saudis to reach a ceasefire agreement and support political talks with the Houthis, according to the northern statement. -American.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have recently been held direct talks in Iraq with the aim of opening diplomatic channels between the two adversaries and reducing the broader tensions in the region.
Saudi Ambassador Rayed Krimly, chief planning officer of the Saudi foreign ministry, said on Friday that the talks organized by Baghdad were exploratory.
“We hope they succeed, but it is too early and premature to reach definitive conclusions. Our assessment will be based on verifiable facts and not on proclamations, ”Krimly told Reuters News.
Meanwhile, the United States said Lenderking had met with Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi along with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, and that the two held a separate meeting with UN special envoy Griffiths and ambassadors to Yemen from the European Union, Germany and Britain to discuss the possibility of bringing the war to an end.
In a May 6 tweet, Senator Murphy linked the maintenance of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran to his continued support of the Houthis militia in Yemen.
Let’s be clear: Iran has helped fuel the war in Yemen. They have increased their support for the Houthis in recent years, and while their historic position may be to support the ceasefire as long as “maximum pressure” continues, Iran will likely want the war to continue. https://t.co/1mMDgvW1rP
– Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) May 6, 2021
Lenderking also met in Amman, Jordan, with King Abdullah II as part of a largest American delegation discuss regional security issues, including U.S. efforts to re-engage Iran in the 2015 nuclear deal and Yemen.
“The Houthis missed a great opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to peace and move forward on this proposal by refusing to meet with UN Special Envoy Griffiths in Muscat, especially given the government’s stated readiness of the Republic of Yemen to reach an agreement to end the conflict, “the US statement said.
“With the growing international consensus and the drive to end the conflict in Yemen without further delay, all parties must commit to the UN special envoy and address the proposal that is on the table, for the good of the people. Yemeni “.