The highest political body in Yemen says it will study a US ceasefire proposal, which has been put forth amid Saudi Arabia’s failure to disentangle itself from the war it has been waging on Yemen.
According to a member of the Yemeni negotiating team, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon presented the proposal to the representatives of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council at a meeting in Oman’s capital, Muscat.
Shannon met the Yemeni representatives and an Omani mediator in Muscat on September 8 and 9 to lay out the proposal, he added. The details of the plan were not publicized by the unnamed official, however, Reuters reported.
The Yemeni negotiators had been in Kuwait for peace talks with Saudi-backed former regime officials before they left for Oman in early September. The talks had deadlocked, and Saudi Arabia had blocked them from returning to Yemen since then. According to the Yemeni negotiator, Riyadh has now agreed to allow them back in Yemen in a United Nations (UN) airplane. Saudi Arabia had previously threatened to shoot down the plane carrying the Yemeni negotiators back.
Once back in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, the negotiators will consult other officials on the US proposal.
US officials in Washington have said that the plan was an “extension of the efforts Secretary [of State John] Kerry initiated in Jeddah,” referring to deliberations Kerry had had with Saudi officials.
On August 25, Kerry said in Saudi Arabia that an agreement had been reached in talks with Persian Gulf Arab states and the UN on a plan to restart peace talks for Yemen.
Saudi Arabia, which has been conducting military attacks against Yemen since March 2015, has failed to achieve any of its declared objectives militarily. Chief among them was the reinstatement of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi as president of Yemen. He had earlier resigned and fled the capital.
The Houthi Ansarullah movement and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party had agreed to establish the Supreme Political Council back in late July. The political body was formally launched on August 6 to run the country.
The UN has said the war on Yemen has killed about 10,000 people so far.