Amendments to the United Nations peace plan in Yemen

English - Saturday 10 June 2023 الساعة 09:04 am
Aden, NewsYemen, exclusive:

On Thursday, the Emirati newspaper, Al-Bayan, quoted "Yemeni political sources" as saying that the UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, "is working on preparing an amended peace plan for the country, which derives its content from the Saudi initiative put forward last April."

The newspaper added that the sources talked about the experts of the UN envoy's office preparing a vision for an amended peace agreement based mainly on the initiative presented by Saudi Arabia last April, which caused the Houthi militia's obstacles to not sign it after the Yemeni government accepted it. The sources indicated that the draft amendment to the plan is expected to be presented this June, and that it is based on three axes, the first of which is humanitarian-economic, the second: a cease-fire, and the third: a political agreement under the auspices of the United Nations.

This is the second initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after what it put forward in March 2021, and it included the opening of Sana’a Airport for a number of regional and international flights, and the deposit of taxes and customs revenues for oil derivative ships from the port of Hodeidah in the joint account at the Central Bank of Yemen in Hodeidah, according to the “Stockholm Agreement.” However, this initiative did not receive a response from the Houthi militia, which initially agreed to it and then revoked its approval by withdrawing funds from the joint account.

The UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said in a television interview in late May during his visit to China that discussions about the settlement agreement "are continuing at various levels to support the mediation efforts of the United Nations." And he added in the same context: "What I want to see is that these efforts turn into a situation where I feel that I am able to present a proposal to the parties that they can agree on and allow negotiations for a permanent ceasefire, which I believe is possible, but it is not easy."

Grundberg said: His first priority is to seek to ensure reaching a situation in which the parties agree to enter into a political process, "which means that the parties must agree on an organized approach to resolving differences through negotiation," stressing that "power-sharing" will be "part of negotiations that will take place.

The Houthi militia is still intransigent in setting conditions that impede the progress of the talks, the most prominent of which was the visit of a Saudi delegation to Sanaa headed by the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Muhammad Al Jaber, in early April, accompanied by an Omani delegation.

Late last week, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan discussed the situation in Yemen as part of the agenda of Blinken's visit to Saudi Arabia. The two sides stated their commitment to finding a solution to the ongoing conflict in Yemen, supporting peace efforts and stopping the war.

Blinken also met with the head of the Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, in Riyadh, and President Al-Alimi renewed the legitimate government's readiness to engage in the peace process adopted by the United Nations and the countries of the region, but no further news was reported about the details of these meetings.