The State Department has launched a review of the Houthi Foreign Terrorist Organization designation


It is a swift move by the newly established Biden administration to investigate one of the most consequential 11th actions taken by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced a decision two weeks before leaving, one of which The designation came into force the day before the inauguration on Wednesday.

The spokesman said, “Mentioned by Secretary-Nominee (Antony) Blinken, the State Department has begun a review of Ansarallah’s terrorist designations.”

Blinken, President Joe Biden’s selection for the post of Secretary of State, said in his nomination hearing on Tuesday that the deepest concern about his designation is that it has, at least on its surface, anything to advance efforts against hissis. Does not seem particularly practical and to bring them back to the negotiating table, while making it even more difficult than before, is to provide humanitarian aid to those who desperately need it. “

The designation of the Foreign Terrorist Organization was swiftly condemned by humanitarian organizations, diplomats and bipartisan members of Congress, who feared it could further exacerbate the situation on the ground, escalate UN peace talks and the country’s humanitarian crisis Can increase.

A State Department spokesman told CNN that they “would not publicly discuss or comment on internal deliberations about that review.”

“However, we are increasingly dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen because we can review and make a determination,” he said.

Yemen, a Shi’ite political and military organization in the north, has been surrounded by a year-old civil war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The conflict has spent thousands of civilian lives and put the country in humanitarian crisis.

A State Department spokesman said they “strongly believe that Ansarallah” – another name for the Houthis – “needs to change its behavior,” adding that “it bears significant responsibility for humanitarian devastation and insecurity in Yemen.” . “

“At the same time, we should also ensure that we are not obstructing the provision of humanitarian aid,” he said.

Pompeo said in his statement that the United States was “planning to take measures to reduce some humanitarian activities and their impact on imports into Yemen.”

He said, “We have expressed our readiness to work with relevant authorities in the United Nations, with international and non-governmental organizations and other international donors to address these implications”.

However, humanitarian organizations and legalists expressed grave concern that the measures would not be sufficient.

Mercy Corps CEO Tzada D’Oyen said the Trump administration named the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization “undermining extremist humanitarian response in Yemen, endangering the lives of millions of Yemeni who rely on humanitarian aid.” Will do. “

The head of the International Rescue Committee called the decision “pure diplomatic vandalism”.

“This policy, in the name of tying up the Houthis, will really bind the aid community and international diplomacy. The opposite is needed – the effective pressure of conflict on all parties to prevent civilians from using them as hostages in their war games for.” David Miliband said.

The spokesman said the US would “continue to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in bringing the parties to political consensus.”

“Our focus is on supporting a comprehensive political settlement that will end the conflict and resolve the grave humanitarian situation,” he said.

Pompeo will leave the State Department as loyal to Trump until the very end

At his nomination hearing on Tuesday, Blinken told lawmakers that the Biden administration intended to end its support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

“The presidential-election has made it clear that we will end our support for the Saudi Arabia-led military campaign in Yemen. And I think the reasons we are elected by the president for presidential-election reasons are very Will work on that in a short time. ” , ”Blinken said.

Asked what the support would look like, the nominee for the top US diplomat said, “It seems, first and foremost, to make sure we really understand what support we currently provide.” Doing what we need to see, and then taking that support back. ” “

“But I want to clarify, I think we have to be in close contact with our partner with Saudi Arabia. We need to be clear about what we are doing, why we are doing something and through it Talking to, ”Blinken said. . “But the main point is that for the reasons we have discussed, we believe that continuing support is not a national interest.”

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