Talks between UN and Saudi Arabia to end war in Yemen

The United Nations Envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, on Thursday met with the Saudi Deputy Defense Minister, Khalid Bin Salman Al-Saud, in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh, where they discussed ways to end the war in Yemen.

“I appreciate the opportunity to discuss ways to end the Yemen war and ensure stability on the Arabian Peninsula with Prince Khalid Bin Salman,” Grundberg said on Twitter, adding that they both agreed to “work closely together and to continue cooperation”.

Grundberg had been in Yemen for a day’s-long visit to discuss the Yemen conflict. During his visit, he met with the Yemeni Foreign Minister, Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, and the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General, Nayef Al-Hajraf.

On 12 January, Grundberg told the UN Security Council that Yemen, which is witnessing a war between the Iranian-backed Houthis and the Saudi-led Arab coalition that supports the legitimate government, was increasingly disintegrating politically, economically and militarily, noting that “the conflict is entering a new cycle of escalation.”

US Envoy set to visit Gulf

In the same context and in an effort to revive peace talks in war-torn Yemen US Special Envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, will set out on a Gulf tour this week, reported Anadolu Agency.

Lenderking will meet with senior regional government officials and other international partners to press parties involved in the Yemeni conflict to “de-escalate militarily” and to engage in “an inclusive UN-led peace process,” the US Department of State said in a statement.

The US envoy will also focus on the “urgent need to mitigate the dire humanitarian and economic crises facing Yemenis,” it added.

The statement called on the parties to the Yemeni conflict to “take steps to improve humanitarian access and address Yemen’s fuel crisis.”

On Wednesday, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said it had killed 90 Houthi rebels in attacks in Yemen over the past 24 hours. Houthi rebels, meanwhile, shelled the energy-rich Shabwa province, killing at least three people.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthis captured much of the country, including the capital Sana’a.

The conflict has caused one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80 per cent, or around 30 million people, needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.

UAE envoy: Houthis a terror group

On the other hand, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States, Yousef Al-Otaiba, on Wednesday, called on the US administration and Congress to re-designate Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a terror group.

Otaiba’s call came two days after three people were killed near Abu Dhabi when Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group attacked the Emirate with missiles and drones, setting off explosions in fuel trucks and causing a fire near the airport of Abu Dhabi.

The UAE embassy added on Twitter that Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed, spoke with U.S. Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin, and discussed unified ways to address Houthi terrorist attacks.