After UN Special Envoy Martin Griffith’s peace initiative failed to convince the Houthis to engage in efforts to establish a ceasefire. US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking will once again travel to Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with senior officials from both the official Yemeni government and the Kingdom.
While the US State Department confirmed Lenderking’s travel schedule, the internationally recognized Yemeni government reaffirmed it still stands firmly against dividing and negotiating parts of Griffiths’ peace plan away from first establishing a ceasefire.
According to Griffiths’ latest UN Security Council briefing, Houthi insurgents continue to refuse to link his initiative to a preconditioned armistice.
With Griffiths’ service as the UN Special Envoy for Yemen ending later July, the US is counting on Omani attempts to persuade Houthis to come around for a ceasefire and return to the negotiations table.
However, Washington remains suspicious of the Houthis being serious about ending the fighting and returning to the consultations table with the Yemeni state.
Griffiths said that for the past year and a half, he had conducted rounds of shuttle diplomacy with the parties, and the UN has offered different solutions to bridge their positions, including his four-point plan for a nationwide ceasefire, opening Sanaa airport, lifting restrictions on shipping through the Hodeidah ports and restarting a political process.
Unfortunately, none of these suggestions have been accepted by the parties, Griffiths reported.
Houthis are demanding a stand-alone agreement on Hodeidah ports and Sanaa airport as a precondition for the ceasefire and the launch of the political process. At the same time, the Yemeni government insists these issues be agreed to and implemented as a package.