The US warned the Houthis in Yemen on Monday not to attack civilians, just 48 hours after the Biden administration removed the group from its list of foreign terrorist groups.
“As the president is taking steps to end the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia has endorsed a negotiated settlement, the United States is deeply troubled by continued Houthi attacks,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price. “We call on the Houthis to immediately cease attacks impacting civilian areas inside Saudi Arabia and to halt any new military offensives inside Yemen, which only bring more suffering to the Yemeni people.”
Price urged the Houthis to refrain from “destabilising actions” and demonstrate their commitment to engage constructively in UN Special Envoy [Martin] Griffiths’ efforts to achieve peace. “The time is now to find an end to this conflict.”
The removal of the Houthis from the list of “foreign terrorist organisations”, a designation that includes severe US sanctions, came just three days after President Joe Biden ordered an end to US support for Saudi-led military operations against the group.
The UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived in Iran on Sunday for peace talks on Yemen. The envoy’s office said that he was scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other officials for talks aimed at reaching a political solution to the nearly six-year-old conflict between the Houthis and Yemeni government.