Saudi Arabia proposes ceasefire in Yemen as war progresses


A photo taken on March 18, 2018 shows a Yemeni boy looking at buildings damaged in an airstrike in the southern Yemeni city of Taez.

AHMAD AL-BASHA | AFP | fake images

WASHINGTON – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday proposed a new peace initiative that would usher in the end of the war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on Monday that the plan would include a nationwide ceasefire, the reopening of the Sanaa airport and allow the import of fuel and food through the port. of Hodeidah.

Yemen’s civil war escalated in 2014 when Houthi forces, which are allied with former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, seized the nation’s capital.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have carried out attacks in Yemen against the Houthis. The administration of former President Donald Trump had backed the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.

Trump vetoed a measure in 2019 aimed at ending US military assistance and involvement in Yemen. At the time, Trump said the congressional resolution was “unnecessary” and endangered “the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future.”

Lawmakers who backed the measure criticized Saudi Arabia for a series of bombing campaigns that caused thousands of civilian deaths in Yemen.

Last month, President Joe Biden announced the end of US support for offensive operations in Yemen and appointed a new envoy to oversee the nation’s diplomatic mission to end the civil war there.

“This war has to end,” Biden said during his first foreign policy speech as president. “We are ending all US support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.”

“At the same time, Saudi Arabia is facing missile and UAV strikes and other threats from Iranian-supplied forces in various countries,” Biden said. “We will continue to help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty, its territorial integrity and its people.”

The president appointed Tim Lenderking, deputy assistant secretary of state for Iran, Iraq and multilateral regional affairs, to oversee the US diplomatic mission to end the war in Yemen.

Biden’s policy of ending support for offensive operations will not extend to military actions taken by the United States against the al-Qaeda affiliate in the region, known as AQAP.

Biden also halted sales of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia to assess possible human rights abuses.

The United Nations has previously said that the ongoing armed conflict in Yemen has produced the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. The United States provided more than $ 630 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen in fiscal year 2020, according to figures provided by the State Department.

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