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

    Report: Yemen's Houthis Visit Saudi Arabia for Ceasefire Talks
    Last updated Sep 15, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • 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.
    • Mahdi al-Mashat, head of the Houthis’ supreme political council, said the 10-member Houthi delegation is visiting the kingdom "to continue consultations with the Saudi side" during the first visit by Houthi officials in Saudi Arabia since the war erupted.
    • Also on Thursday, a delegation from Oman, which is acting as a mediator between the warring parties, arrived in the Houthi-held Yemeni capital, Sanaa, to hold talks with Houthi leaders on pursuing a ceasefire with the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, according to local media.
    • A six-month truce that expired last October is still largely in place. The first round of Oman-brokered consultations between Riyadh and Sanaa, which run in parallel with UN mediation efforts, was held in April when Saudi envoys visited the Yemeni capital.
    • The Yemen conflict erupted in 2014 when the Houthis captured Sanaa and much of the country's north, eventually forcing the internationally recognized government into exile in Saudi Arabia. Over 150K people have reportedly been killed in the war, which has resulted in one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.


    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.

    Establishment split



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