TEHRAN (defapress) – The Trump administration is preparing to initiate direct talks with Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, a report said.
News ID: 78526
Publish Date: 28August 2019 - 16:03
The US is looking to prod Saudi Arabia into taking part in secret talks in Oman with Houthi leaders in an effort to broker a ceasefire in Yemen, according to people familiar with the plans, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The move could open the first significant channel between the Trump administration and the Houthis at a time when fears of a broader regional war are growing.
In 2015, a few months after the war in Yemen began, top Obama administration envoys met secretly with Houthis for the first time in Oman to press for a ceasefire and release of Americans held by the Yemeni fighters.
US officials met with Houthi leaders last December in Sweden during United Nations-led peace talks. But there haven’t been any significant direct negotiations since Donald Trump took office in 2017, current and former US officials said.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
Official UN figures say that more than 15,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the Saudi-led bombing campaign began.
The Saudi war has impacted over seven million children in Yemen who now face a serious threat of famine, according to UNICEF figures. Over 6,000 children have either been killed or sustained serious injuries since 2015, UN children’s agency said. The humanitarian situation in the country has also been exacerbated by outbreaks of cholera, polio, and measles.