US Secretary State Blinken to push Yemen diplomatic efforts

US Secretary State Blinken in diplomatic push to end Yemen war
3 min read
15 March, 2021
Speaking with the UN special envoy, Anthony Blinken said that there is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen and is seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Anthony Blinken's comments were welcomed by the Houthis [Getty]

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has told the UN about his desire to "reinvigorate diplomatic efforts" to end the ongoing conflict in Yemen, Washington reported on Sunday. 

Blinken's words were welcomed by the Tehran-backed Houthi rebels, as Iran's foreign minister affirmed his country's readiness to enter into talks with Saudi Arabia to find a solution to the ongoing war. 

In a phone call with the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, Blinken stressed that there is no military solution to the war

"He [Blinken] highlighted that the US supports a unified, stable Yemen free from foreign influence and that there is no military solution to the conflict," said State Department Spokesman Ned Price in a statement on Sunday.

Speaking with Griffiths on Sunday, Blinken lamented the humanitarian toll that the war has put on the people of Yemen, according to the state department. 

"The Secretary underscored that the United States’ efforts under Special Envoy Lenderking intend to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts, alongside the UN and others, to end the war in Yemen."

Blinken's comments were welcomed by the Houthis, with leading rebel official Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi describing the statements as "positive".

"We are waiting for the withdrawal of the American elements and experts from the battle. Neutralise the American arms and withdraw them from the current confrontation with the countries of aggression against the Republic of Yemen," wrote Al-Houthi on Twitter

In an interview with CNN, Al-Houthi alleged that the current Biden is pursuing a similar approach to the Obama administration in supporting the Saudi-led coalition.

"Trust is created by actions not words. Trust must come about because of decisions. So far we have not seen any decisions," said Al-Houthi. 

The Houthi rebels have been engaged in a grinding conflict against a Saudi-led coalition, since they intervened in the conflict in March 2015.

The Houthis, who are supported by Iran, have recently stepped up attacks against Riyadh-back government forces and Saudi Arabia itself, using missiles and drones. 

Read more: How the odds were stacked against Yemen's Arab Spring revolution

Speaking today at the European Policy Center, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif said that Iran was ready to enter into talks with Saudi Arabia and the UAE to end the conflict in Yemen.

"We have presented solutions and proposals on Yemen, and we are ready for dialogue with Saudi Arabia and the Emirates," said Zarif. 

Since the conflict in Yemen began in 2014, tens of thousands of people have been killed and much of the country is suffering from chronic shortages of both food and medicine. 

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