Report: Yemen's Houthis Visit Saudi Arabia for Ceasefire Talks

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The Facts

  • A delegation of Yemen's Houthi rebels arrived in Riyadh on Thursday at the invitation of Saudi Arabia to continue ceasefire talks aimed at ending the long-running war in Yemen, according to Houthi and Saudi news sources.

  • According to Riyadh, the talks are aimed at a "permanent and comprehensive ceasefire" and a lasting "political solution acceptable to all Yemeni parties." The talks reportedly include payments to Yemeni employees, reconstruction efforts, and the opening of Houthi-controlled airports and ports.


The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

It's an encouraging signal that the Houthis and the Saudis are resuming their ceasefire talks in Riyadh. Yet it's important to remember the events that triggered the world's worst humanitarian crisis. It was Saudi Arabia — with massive support from its Western allies — that launched a brutal campaign against Yemen in 2015 to reinstall the Saudi puppet government. Finally, the recent Chinese-brokered resumption of diplomatic relations between the kingdom and Iran gave new momentum to the peace process in Yemen.

Pro-establishment narrative

The fact that the Saudis and the Houthis are continuing talks in Riyadh to reach a lasting ceasefire is also an achievement of sustained US mediation efforts over the past two years. Now, it's up to the Iran-backed Houthis to seize the unique opportunity to demonstrate their willingness to end the crisis in talks with the official Yemeni government. Only successful Yemeni-Yemeni talks will lead to lasting peace, and Washington will remain committed to helping Yemen become a prosperous country free of foreign interference.

Narrative C

Despite the now resumed talks, peace is far from being achieved. This is, in part, due to the deepening rift between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which now support rival groups in Yemen fighting for control of the strategically important country and its oil resources. While the UAE supports secessionist forces seeking to establish an independent state in southern Yemen, Saudi Arabia views Yemen's unity as critical to its national security. The growing regional rivalry between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh threatens the recent efforts for permanent peace.


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