Saudi-Houthi talks spark optimism for cease-fire in war-torn Yemen
Insight Online News
Aden, Yemen, Apr 10 : Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Houthi militia on Sunday engaged in direct talks aimed at reviving a cease-fire in the war-torn nation, following more than eight years of deadly conflict, a government official told Xinhua.
The local government official, who requested to remain anonymous, revealed that the ongoing discussion between Saudi officials and the Houthi leaders is the first one in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, which is under the control of the Houthis.
He said that these talks have sparked optimism that a resolution to the conflict in Yemen may be achievable.
The Yemeni government official expressed hope that the talks will lead to a positive outcome, indicating that “the local warring parties and Saudi Arabia have initially agreed to extend the expired six-month cease-fire to a year.”
The source further stated that an official ceasefire announcement is expected to be made within the next three days.
On Saturday, Yemeni officials disclosed that a joint Saudi and Omani delegation arrived in Sanaa to hold ceasefire talks with leaders of the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
However, there has been no official confirmation from either Riyadh or the Houthis regarding the details of the discussions so far.
On Friday, Yemeni government officials gathered in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh to discuss a comprehensive three-year peace plan to end the country’s civil war, according to a Yemeni diplomat.
He clarified that the proposed plan, which is based on a series of back-channel negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Houthi militia in Muscat, the capital of Oman, for the past few months, has three main stages that would be implemented over a period of three years.
Oman and the United Nations have mediated previous rounds of negotiations between the Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia, and the Houthi group. Oman’s role has been crucial in facilitating talks and maintaining good relations with both parties.
The United Nations has been working to broker a political solution to the conflict, but previous attempts have failed due to a lack of trust between the warring parties and continued violence on the ground.
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.
UNIINDIA / XINHUA