| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Blinken underlines close cooperation with Saudi Arabia to extend truce in Yemen

The UN Security Council expressed “deep disappointment” at the Houthis’ failure to engage with the Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, to extend the truce in Yemen for another six months.


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced during a joint press conference with Chile’s Foreign Minister Antonia Oriola in Santiago, that the United States was “working closely” with Saudi Arabia in an “attempt to extend the truce” in Yemen.


In a statement on Wednesday, the members of the Security Council voiced their strong disappointment at the passing of the Oct.2 deadline to extend the Yemen truce by six months.


The members “welcomed the Government of Yemen’s engagement with the efforts of the Special Envoy and stressed that the Houthis’ maximalist demands in the final days of negotiations had hindered the United Nations efforts to broker agreement, risking negative consequences,” the statement noted, underlining the need for “the parties find a way forward to reinstate the truce.


The members of the Security Council emphasized that the past six months had brought “more calm and security than at any point in the past eight years, including a sharp reduction in civilian casualties, as well as the Government of Yemen’s efforts in enabling fuel to flow into Hodaidah and commercial flights to and from Sanaa.”


With an extension to the truce, “these benefits for the Yemeni people would continue to grow, including paying Yemen’s teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, opening roads in Taiz and around the country, expanding international flights and ensuring that fuel flows more freely into Hodaidah port,” according to the UNSC statement.


The members of the Security Council also reiterated their support for the UN special envoy, saying that an extension would also “provide the opportunity to reach a ceasefire and ultimately a Yemeni-led inclusive and comprehensive political settlement, with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women, under the auspices of the United Nations, based on the agreed references and in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, with the intention of addressing the broader issues underlying the conflict.”


They also expressed their “deep concerns about rhetoric that deliberately threatened negotiations and actions which impeded the economic stability of Yemen.”


“The members of the Security Council urgently called on the Yemeni parties, in particular the Houthis, to refrain from provocation, prioritize the Yemeni people, and return to engaging constructively in negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations and to urgently work towards an extension and expansion of the truce. They reiterated the need to avoid resumption of hostilities inside of Yemen as well as attacks within the region and on the Red Sea. They stressed that the Security Council would continue to take all action to support efforts for peace, security and stability in Yemen.”

  • Asharq Al-Awsat