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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Aden - Ali Rabih

UN, US Envoys to Yemen Kick off New Regional Tour

UN envoy to Yemen Hans Grunberg meets with senior Houthi official Mahdi Mashat in Sanaa. (Houthi media)

United Nations envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg and United States’ envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking kicked off this week a new tour of the region to support Saudi Arabia and Oman’s efforts to restore peace in the war-torn country.

Grundberg arrived in Yemen’s Sanaa on Monday for talks with the Iran-backed Houthi militias. Lenderking, meanwhile, traveled to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and the Omani capital, Muscat.

Houthi media said Grundberg met with their coup council leader Mahdi Mashat and other officials. They discussed the latest developments related to the peace efforts.

Mashat alleged that “the facts have proven that the US and Britain are obstructing all attempts to achieve peace in Yemen,” reported the Houthi-affiliated Saba news agency.

Whenever the Houthis and Saudi Arabia “reach understandings, the US immediately dispatches its ‘cursed’ envoy to the region to obstruct all efforts,” he added.

Observers dismissed his remarks as a reflection of the Houthis’ undermining of solutions proposed by regional and international mediators to resolve the conflict. The Houthis are instead seeking to achieve political and economic gains, while refusing to offer any fundamental concessions, starting with abandoning their arsenal of Iranian weapons.

Mashat relayed to Grundberg Houthi warnings to the international community, including European countries, that the US and Britain are keen on an escalation in Yemen. He warned that such a move would incur consequences, in what was understood as a threat to American and Britain interests in the region.

The US State Department had said that Lenderking would travel to Oman and Saudi Arabia where he will hold talks with Yemeni, Saudi, Omani and international partners to discuss their coordinated efforts to further ongoing talks.

The United States is working closely with the UN, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and other partners to build on the UN-mediated truce, which has delivered the longest period of calm since the war began, to support an inclusive, Yemeni-led political process that permits Yemenis to shape a brighter future for their country, the State Department said.

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