Dubai: A renewed push to end the nine-year war in Yemen has gained momentum with Saudi Arabia praising the ‘positive’ results of highest-level negotiations with an Al Houthi delegation, and a ‘productive’ meeting of the US, UAE and Saudi Arabia held in New York.
Marking the end of Al Houthis’ trip, the Saudi foreign ministry in a statement early Wednesday “welcomed the positive results of the serious discussions regarding reaching a roadmap to support the peace path in Yemen.”
The kingdom reaffirmed its commitment to promoting dialogue among all warring parties in Yemen, Saudi Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman said after meeting the Al Houthi delegation in Riyadh.
“We look forward to the success of these critical discussions,” Prince Khalid wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
As the Riyadh talks ended, top diplomats of US, the UAE and Saudi Arabia met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
It was a “productive meeting” with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and his counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “We discussed the urgent need for a durable resolution to the conflict in Yemen, and other priorities,” Blinken wrote on X.
“Coordination with our partners on Yemen and regional challenges is critical to peace and stability.”
The three top diplomats stressed the significance of close cooperation between the countries and the Presidential Leadership Council in Yemen to strengthen the peace efforts led by the UN, UAE’s official WAM news agency said.
Sheikh Abdullah praised the efforts made by Saudi Arabia to reach a permanent ceasefire in Yemen, which will lead to a comprehensive political settlement of the crisis, reiterating the UAE’s firm approach to standing by the brotherly Yemeni people.
Separately, Sheikh Abdullah met the chairman of the Yemeni government’s Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al Alimi, and discussed “international efforts made to reach a political solution to the Yemeni crisis”, WAM said.
The Saudi-Al Houthi talks in Riyadh were the latest ray of light for Yemen, which has endured decades of instability and where three-quarters of the population are dependent on aid.
Optimism has increased since Saudi Arabia and Iran ended a seven-year rupture in ties in March, with nearly 900 prisoners released in an exchange deal soon afterwards and a Saudi delegation holding talks in Yemen’s capital Sanaa in April.
Meanwhile a UN-brokered ceasefire is largely holding, despite officially expiring last October.
Yemen’s conflict began in September 2014 when Al Houthis seized Sana’a and much of the country’s north. The internationally recognised government fled to the south and then into exile in Saudi Arabia.