West News Wire: According to reports, Saudi Arabia has informed the purported Yemeni presidential leadership council of its resolve to terminate Yemen’s destructive war after eight years of aggression.
Al Mayadeen TV in Lebanon, citing reliable sources, reported on Friday that Saudi officials recently briefed the council’s chairman and members in a closed-door meeting about the peace plan. The council was set up last April following the resignation of ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
According to sources, Prince Khalid bin Salman, the defense minister of Saudi Arabia, informed the council on Riyadh’s plan to settle the Yemeni issue and added that the Saudis’ objective is to extend the current UN-brokered ceasefire for another year as part of an agreement with the Sana’a government.
According to the article, in exchange for Sana’a accepting the ceasefire, Riyadh will promise to pay public employees’ paychecks, open the port of Hodeidah, and assist in resolving Yemen’s financial issues.
According to additional sources, the extension of the cease-fire is conditional upon Riyadh making an official declaration that the war and Saudi meddling in Yemeni affairs are over.
According to the article, Yemeni negotiations will begin when the conflict is over with the supervision of the UN and Riyadh’s assistance, with the goal of reaching an agreement on a two-year transitional period.
The sources emphasized that Riyadh’s decision is “almost final,” despite the fact that it is still being studied and discussed.
According to Mohammed Abdul Salam, the leader of the Sana’a negotiating team, “we pursue our efforts through negotiations to end the aggression and lift the siege and we hope that the efforts will be crowned with a peace agreement,” Al Mayadeen said.
The new peace plan is scheduled to go into force in three phases, according to the Asharq Al-Awsat daily. The Saudi-owned media outlet said that according to a Yemeni source, the first stage of the peace plan will entail a statewide truce, the reopening of all land, air, and sea routes, the merger of the central banks, and comprehensive prisoner exchanges.
The parties would then engage in direct talks to determine how Yemenis saw a state, which would be followed by a transitional period.
The source anticipated that a ceasefire would be announced in the upcoming days, that the truce would be solidified, and that fighting would end on the front lines. The implementation of other plans will take weeks.
The current humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where 80% of its 30 million people depend on help in some capacity for survival, is commonly attributed to Saudi Arabia.
Late in 2014, Hadi announced his resignation as president. He then fled to Riyadh as a result of a political dispute with the well-liked Houthis movement.
In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies, with the assistance of the US and several other Western nations, began a brutal war against Yemen in an effort to reinstate Hadi.
The Houthis movement, which has since been in charge of state affairs in Yemen because there is no functioning government, was also to be destroyed.
Despite killing tens of thousands of Yemenis and causing the world’s worst humanitarian disaster throughout the whole nation, the war has come to an end falling short of all of its objectives.
In addition, the war destroyed the nation’s infrastructure, forced millions of people to flee their homes, and resulted in the largest humanitarian disaster of our time.
The conflicting parties agreed to a ceasefire in April, but it was broken after six months. However, because key components of the truce are still in place, tensions have subsided and the number of casualties has fallen.
According to reports, a Saudi-Omani delegation is scheduled to travel to Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, the next week to speak with Houthi representatives over a long-term ceasefire.
According to two people participating in the negotiations, if a deal is achieved, the warring parties in Yemen might announce it before the Muslims festival of Eid, which begins on April 20, according to Reuters.
They stated that the conversations are concentrated on Yemen’s ports and airports being fully reopened, paying public employees’ wages, the process of rebuilding, and a political transition.
The most recent developments come as many believe that the recent warming of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia may contribute to greater regional stability and, in part, facilitate attempts to bring about a lasting settlement in Yemen.
On March 10, following lengthy negotiations held in China, Tehran and Riyadh decided to reestablish diplomatic ties. Leading diplomats from the two nations met for the first time on Thursday in Beijing, focusing on efforts to strengthen bilateral trust and support greater regional security.