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Tangible progress in Saudi, Oman peace talks with Houthi leaders

April 12, 2023 at 9:04 pm

A handout photo released by Yemen’s Houthis-run Saba News Agency shows the Omani and Saudi delegations in meeting Houthi officials in Sana’a, Yemen. [Handout/Saba News Agency via Getty Images]

Delegations from Saudi Arabia and Oman have achieved “tangible progress” during peace talks with the Yemeni Houthi leaders currently taking place in the capital, Sana’a, Anadolu News Agency reported, citing a Yemeni government source.

The unnamed high-ranking source said negotiations conducted by the Saudi and Omani delegations witnessed “tangible progress” in the last hours, after overcoming some initial problems.

While the source did not disclose the nature of the “problems”, Houthi media outlets, including Al-Masirah TV channel, reported that the Houthis have required Saudi Arabia to sign any future agreement as a party and not as a mediator, which was rejected by the Saudi ambassador, Muhammad Al-Jaber.

According to the source, “these problems were remedied with the efforts of the brothers in Oman and with pressure from Iran”.

“Talking about a settlement in the Yemeni file has become possible, especially after the recent Saudi-Iranian understandings, which we hope will contribute to removing the clouds of war, establishing peace and restoring commercial and economic activities, specifically oil export and production operations,” the source said.

READ: Yemeni gov’t optimistic about restoring peace in war-torn country

On 10 March, Saudi Arabia and Iran resumed diplomatic relations following Chinese-sponsored talks held in Beijing.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Yemeni source said the two delegations are still in Sana’a, and there are only final touches left until a comprehensive agreement is announced, without further details.

Since Saturday evening, two delegations from Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman have been holding talks with leaders of the Houthi group in Sana’a, on ways to extend the ceasefire and bring peace to Yemen.

Regional and international efforts are escalating to renew a 6-month truce that ended last October.