Washington, DC (STL.News) U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking returned on May 6 from travel to Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Jordan. In Saudi Arabia, he held meetings with senior government officials, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, to stress the need to ease all restrictions at Hudaydah Port and Sana’a Airport, reach a comprehensive, nationwide ceasefire, and move to inclusive political talks. Separately, U.S. Special Envoy Lenderking and UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths met twice with the P5 Ambassadors to Yemen, at the beginning and the end of the trip. The permanent members of the UN Security Council expressed determination to see the conflict resolved. They agreed that enabling the free flow of goods and commodities into and through Yemen, achieving a nationwide ceasefire, and swiftly transitioning to political talks is the only way to bring lasting relief to the Yemeni people and provide the basis for a stable, unified Yemen in the future.
In Muscat, U.S. Special Envoy Lenderking met with Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi in a joint meeting with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. They all agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire and committed to work with the parties to bring a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The Omani Foreign Minister and the U.S. Special Envoy expressed their mutual desire to see the Safer oil tanker crisis resolved in order to prevent an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe in the Red Sea.
The U.S. Special Envoy then travelled to Amman, Jordan to join a senior U.S. government interagency delegation. The delegation met with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and other Jordanian government officials to discuss regional issues, including the growing regional consensus on the need to end the Yemen conflict. U.S. Special Envoy Lenderking and U.S. Senator Murphy also held a separate meeting with UN Special Envoy Griffiths and the EU, German, and UK Ambassadors to Yemen to discuss the urgency of an immediate halt to the Houthi offensive in Marib and the transition to a political process.
Continuing these productive engagements, U.S. Special Envoy Lenderking returned to Riyadh for another round of meetings with senior government officials from Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Yemen. The U.S. Special Envoy appreciates the continued and close cooperation with the Yemeni government.
There is a fair deal on the table that will bring immediate relief to Yemeni people. The Houthis passed up a major opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to peace and to make progress on this proposal by refusing to meet with UN Special Envoy Griffiths in Muscat—especially given the Republic of Yemen Government’s stated readiness to reach an agreement to end the conflict. Contradictory to their pronouncements regarding the humanitarian situation in Yemen, the Houthis worsen it by continuing to attack Marib and exacerbating dire conditions for already vulnerable, internally displaced Yemenis.
With the growing international consensus and momentum toward ending the conflict in Yemen without further delay, all parties must engage with the UN Special Envoy and address the proposal that is on the table, for the sake of the Yemeni people.