Aden, Yemen: The ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Yemen announced Monday that his visit to the Houthi-held Yemeni capital of Sanaa was intended to revive the ceasefire and resume political negotiations with the ultimate goal of ending the nine-year conflict.
Starting Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber held talks with senior leaders of the Houthi group in Sanaa, with the presence of Omani delegates, according to local Yemeni officials.
The visit coincided with a renewed push for negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis, following the recent diplomatic reconciliation between the kingdom and Iran.
Al-Jaber said on Twitter that his visit to Sanaa was intended to “stabilize the truce and cease-fire, support the process of exchanging prisoners, and explore possibilities for dialogue between various Yemeni factions to achieve a sustainable and comprehensive political solution in Yemen.”
Earlier in the day, Yemen’s internationally-recognized government welcomed the recent diplomatic efforts aimed at bringing about peace in the war-torn country and hoped such efforts could lead to positive outcomes.
Yemeni Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani said in a press statement that “the current situation provides a greater opportunity for peace to be restored in Yemen than ever before.”
On Sunday, Saudi and Omani delegations held negotiations with Houthi leaders in Sanaa in an effort to bring an end to the years-long conflict. All parties have initially agreed to extend the expired ceasefire from six months to one year, with an official announcement expected soon, a government official who requires anonymity told Xinhua.
The United Nations has been trying to mediate a political settlement to the Yemeni conflict, but prior efforts have failed due to a lack of trust between the warring parties and continued violence on the ground.
Last year, a UN-brokered humanitarian truce brought some hope for a peaceful resolution to Yemen’s conflict by considerably reducing violence across the country. However, armed confrontations resumed in many parts of the country after the truce expired in October 2022.
Yemen has been embroiled in a devastating civil war since 2014, with the Houthis fighting against the internationally-recognized Yemeni government. The Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened in the conflict in support of the Yemeni government in 2015.