Yemen: Saudi-Oman Envoy Meets with Houthi Officials for Peace Talks

    Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • Saudi and Omani officials reportedly held talks with the head of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, Mahdi al-Mashat, over the weekend in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. The envoys discussed ending hostilities and lifting a Saudi-led "blockade" on Yemeni ports.

    • Chief Houthi negotiator Mohammed Abdul-Salam said Saturday that they want a stop to "the aggression completely, lifting the blockade completely, paying the salaries of all Yemeni employees from oil and gas well as the exit of foreign forces from Yemen, compensations and reconstruction."

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Though the extent to which China played a role in this potential ceasefire is still unclear, it does seem that Beijing's diplomatic approach far outweighed the US style of saber-rattling. This is shown by CIA Director William Burns' angry statement on the matter, in which he scolded Saudi Arabia for coming to a peaceful agreement with the Houthis. The US is thirsty for more profits from this unnecessary war, which is why China stepped up to offer another diplomatic ally other than declining American hegemony.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The idea that China miraculously brokered a Saudi-Iran peace deal is delusional, as Beijing has been meddling in Middle Eastern affairs for years to no avail. The PRC has also not proven capable of maintaining a peace deal of this magnitude. Many unforeseen incidents can break this agreement apart, such as Houthi rebels launching attacks on their own or anti-government protests in Iran that stoke renewed anger toward the Saudis. Diplomacy isn't as simple as some are making it out to be, and Beijing will soon learn that as it digs its claws deeper into challenging Middle Eastern issues.

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