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Saudi Arabia: ‘Our peace strategy for Yemen won’t change’

February 14, 2018 at 11:16 am

The Saudi-led coalition is willing to join peace talks in Oman, backing the internationally recognised government of Yemen led by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Arab news reported yesterday.

“The coalition seeks peace. The legitimate government of Yemen seeks peace. We’re trying to find a political solution,” Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition, said.

“544,037” civilians have been assisted by a relief programme supported by King Salman Humanitarian Aid Relief Centre (KSRelief), Al-Maliki continued.

Yesterday, Oman agreed to host peace talks between the Houthis and the General People’s Congress (GPC), insinuating a broader peace process once a new United Nations Peace Envoy is recruited. No other parties to the conflict were named to be part of the coming peace talks.

The Houthis, who control large swathes of northern Yemen, have already signalled their willingness to join.

Saudi quagmire in Yemen - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Saudi quagmire in Yemen – Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Today, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres notified the Security Council of the appointment of former British diplomat Martin Griffiths as his new envoy for Yemen. Griffiths will be responsible for brokering a peace deal between the warring parties.

Griffiths is currently the executive director of the European Institute of Peace, and will be replacing Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who steps down this month.

The UN Security Council will need to approve Griffiths’ appointment by tomorrow or raise its objections by then.

The Yemen civil war erupted in September 2014 when the Houthis overtook Sana’a, forcing internationally recognised President Hadi to relocate his government to the southern city of Aden. In March 2015, Hadi requested a Saudi-led coalition intervene militarily in order to halt Houthi advances.

The fighting has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 Yemenis.

Read: Yemen war ‘escalating’, says UN human rights chief