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Will Houthis Respond to the US Call?

Will Houthis Respond to the US Call?

Thursday, 8 November, 2018 - 12:30
Salman Al-dossary
Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threw a stone in the stagnant waters of the Yemeni crisis, after calling on all parties to agree on a ceasefire and enter into negotiations in the next 30 days. In parallel, UN Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith announced that he would work to hold new negotiations between the parties to the conflict within a month.

This is an important development that will lead to finding real exits for the Yemeni crisis. The Yemeni government welcomed the call for a ceasefire and a solution based on the three references, namely the Gulf Initiative, the outcome of national dialogue and UN Security Council Resolution 2216. However, will this important and necessary invitation to dialogue, which was received sportively by the Yemeni legitimacy, be faced with positivity by the Houthis?

Unfortunately, all the previous attempts to reach a peaceful solution did not work, in the absence of a practical move by the Houthis to enter into serious negotiations to end the war. In fact, in all past negotiations over the Yemeni crisis, the Houthis were a stumbling block to any peaceful solution.

In order for any new US vision not to be a clone of the previous initiative by former US Secretary of State John Kerry - which was doomed to failure because it did not take into account the relevant international resolutions – it should reject the status quo and insist on bringing back the situation in Yemen to its previous state, before the Houthi coup in September 2014.

However, until now, the US invitation is nothing more than mere statements, it’s not yet a plan nor a program. Any peace plan must pass through the UN Security Council and be in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, mainly Resolution 2216. Here, we should not overlook the new wave of US sanctions on Iran; the Iranian regime finds in the Houthi coup and the continuation of the war a golden opportunity to respond indirectly to the US and to maintain instability in the region. Are the Houthis really capable of engaging into peace and going to negotiations with a real desire to end the war, while Tehran refuses to do so?! The answer is known.

The Yemeni legitimacy, the Arab Coalition and the international community have a sincere desire to end this war, which resulted from the coup. Good intentions alone, however, do not end of a war.

Mattis, in the same speech delivered in Bahrain where he called for negotiations, noted that his country was against the supply of arms from Iran to the terrorist organizations in Yemen and Lebanon. He also said that “Iran threatens global security”, pointing out that Tehran sought to expand its dominance outside its borders and intervene in the affairs of neighboring countries.

He stressed that unless the factors contributing to the continuation of this war are stopped, by curbing the Iranian intervention in Yemen’s affairs and its ownership of the Houthi decision, stopping Iran’s export of arms and ballistic missiles to the Houthis, and cutting the umbilical cord between the Houthis and Tehran, any talk of ending the war may be difficult to implement.

Every sane person hopes to end the shedding of blood and to stop the war. No one is against the principle of establishing the long-awaited peace, safeguard the Yemenis’ rights and end their sufferings. But all this depends on a group that considers the continuation of the coup as a victory, even if it stands alone, with only one state pushing it to continue with its intransigence.

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