Delegation from Saudi Arabia and Oman to Meet Houthi Leadership for Permanent Ceasefire in Yemen
Ending the Yemen War
The futility of war is an undeniable truth. Conflict rarely leads to a satisfactory resolution, and any perceived gains are often overshadowed by the loss of innocent lives. The only true way to solve complex problems is through peaceful negotiation. Regrettably, sometimes this understanding is only reached after tragic losses have been incurred, which are borne by innocent civilians.
Good news is on the horizon for Yemen, where the conflict has led to the loss of over 377,000 lives and displacement of 4 million people. According to officials familiar with the matter, a delegation from Saudi Arabia and Oman is set to meet with the Houthi leadership in Sanaa next week. The aim of the meeting is to finalize a permanent ceasefire that would bring an end to the eight-year war in Yemen.
Various sources have reported this news, indicating that an agreement could be signed on or before April 20, which coincides with the Muslim holiday of Eid-al Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan. UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, recently met with senior officials from Oman and the Houthi group in Muscat to discuss the peace process.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition announced the lifting of its naval blockade on Yemen. This decision will allow most ships to dock directly in southern ports, such as Aden, without requiring security checks in Jeddah. The blockade was initially imposed in 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen to support the government overthrown by the Houthis.
On Friday, leaders of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government were reportedly summoned by Riyadh to discuss the talks with the Houthis, according to Lebanon-based outlet Al-Mayadeen. The outlet stated that Saudi Defense Minister, Khalid bin Salman, presented a proposal for a resolution to the Yemen war.
The plan reportedly includes extending the ceasefire by another year and reopening Yemeni ports. Following this, Saudi Arabia is expected to declare an official end to the war and its intervention in Yemen. Reports suggest that the UN and Saudi Arabia will then facilitate discussions between the Houthis and rival Yemeni factions, aimed at establishing a new government over a two-year transition period.
The recent diplomatic progress in ending the eight-year conflict was made possible by last month’s agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to re-establish diplomatic relations, brokered by China.
In conclusion, a permanent ceasefire in Yemen is within reach, and there is hope that negotiations between the Houthis and rival factions will lead to the establishment of a new government over the next two years. While it is regrettable that so many lives have been lost in this conflict, it is heartening to see progress being made towards a peaceful resolution.