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US Envoy Heads back in Push to End Yemen War

US Envoy Heads back in Push to End Yemen War

Monday, 22 February, 2021 - 19:30
US special envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking speaks via teleconference during a news conference on February 16, 2021 as State Department spokesman Ned Prices looks on. (AFP)

The US envoy seeking to end Yemen's war headed back to the region Monday as the Iran-backed Houthi militias continue to ignore international calls for calm as they press an offensive in the Marib province.

Tim Lenderking, named by President Joe Biden in his first days in office in a sign of renewed US effort to address the conflict, will visit several Gulf nations on a trip that will last through March 3, the State Department said.

His discussions "will focus on the United States' dual-track approach to end the conflict in Yemen: a lasting political solution and humanitarian relief for the Yemeni people," a statement from the State Department said, without specifying his exact stops.

Lenderking was in the region less than two weeks ago when he held talks in Saudi Arabia.

On his return to Washington, Lenderking said the administration was working "to energize international diplomatic efforts with our Gulf partners, the United Nations and others to create the right conditions for a ceasefire and to push the parties toward a negotiated settlement to end the war in Yemen."

The diplomacy comes as the Houthis shrug off international calls for restraint and seek to capture Marib, which lies next to some of Yemen's richest oil fields.

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