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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Delegation from Yemen’s Houthi rebels flies into Saudi Arabia for peace talks with kingdom

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A delegation from Yemen’s Houthi rebels have flown into Saudi Arabia for talks with the dominion on doubtlessly ending the yearslong warfare tearing on the Arab world’s poorest nation, officers say.

It stays unclear what phrases now are being mentioned between Riyadh and the Iranian-backed Houthis, who’ve held Yemen’s capital of Sanaa since September 2014. However the journey comes after regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a Chinese language-mediated détente earlier this yr and as there’s been a flurry of diplomatic exercise between the completely different events within the proxy warfare.

This newest effort seems to have begun with a go to Monday to Oman by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the assertive son of King Salman who launched the kingdom-led warfare again in March 2015. Oman lengthy has served as an interlocutor between each Iran and the Houthis through the warfare.

On Thursday, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed reportedly obtained letters from Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi, who’s a protégé of Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The substance of the letters was not publicly acknowledged by both nation, however it got here as an Omani delegation visited Houthi officers in Sanaa.

Discipline Marshal Mahdi al-Mashat, the pinnacle of the Houthis’ supreme political council, issued an announcement through the Houthi-controlled SABA information company praising the peace efforts.

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“Peace was and stays our first alternative, which have to be labored on by everybody,” al-Mashat stated. “In response to the mediation of Oman, the nationwide delegation will go, accompanied by the Omani delegation, to Riyadh to finish consultations with the Saudi facet.”

Early Friday, the state-run Saudi Press Company acknowledged {that a} Houthi delegation had been invited to the dominion, with out elaborating. The English-language newspaper Arab Information, which is owned by an organization lengthy tied to the dominion’s royal household, reported that 10-member Houthi delegation had flown into Riyadh on Thursday night time.

Yemen’s battle started in 2014 when the Houthis seized Sanaa and far of the nation’s north. The internationally acknowledged authorities fled to the south after which into exile in Saudi Arabia.

The Houthi takeover prompted a Saudi-led coalition to intervene months later and the battle changed into a regional proxy warfare between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with america lengthy concerned on the periphery, offering intelligence help to the dominion.

Nevertheless, worldwide criticism over Saudi airstrikes killing civilians noticed the U.S. pull again its help. However the U.S. is suspected of nonetheless finishing up drone strikes focusing on suspected members of Yemen’s native al-Qaida department.

The warfare has killed greater than 150,000 folks, together with fighters and civilians, and created one of many world’s worst humanitarian disasters. A cease-fire that expired final October largely has held within the time since, nonetheless. Saudi Arabia, its native allies and the Houthis performed a prisoner alternate in April as a part of peace speak efforts.

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