Houthis are being evasive when addressing the new Saudi peace plan for Yemen, government sources told Asharq Al-Awsat, adding that the militia is following Iranian instructions on trying to break the initiative into pieces.
“They (Houthis) are looking to separate the initiative’s humanitarian and economic parts from the military and political ones,” said Yemeni government sources, noting that the Iran-aligned group’s intentions have left the UN and US envoys to the war-torn country disappointed.
For the time being, analysts and observers remain skeptic on the current political atmosphere in Yemen yielding any positive engagement with international efforts seeking a settlement to the country’s ongoing crisis.
Houthis have demanded arranging unchecked direct flights to Iran, Syria and Lebanon, halting Arab coalition airstrikes, and easing restrictions on traffic to and from the seaport as preconditions for agreeing to a truce.
The government has rejected the Houthi demands as it remains greatly concerned that the militia might ferry fighters and weapons on direct flights and through seaports.
On March 22, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan announced a new peace initiative for achieving a broad political solution for the battle-weary country.
The initiative includes a comprehensive ceasefire across the country under the supervision of the UN and depositing taxes and custom revenues for ships carrying oil derivatives to the port of Hodeidah in the joint account of the Central Bank of Yemen in Hodeidah, in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement on Hodeidah.
More so, the Saudi plan approved reopening the Sanaa International Airport to a number of direct regional and international destinations and backed the relaunching of consultations between the Yemeni parties to reach a political resolution to the Yemeni crisis under the auspices of the UN based on the references of UN Security Council Resolution 2216, the Gulf initiative and its implementation mechanism, and the outcomes of the Yemeni national dialogue.
Nevertheless, the Yemeni government has accused Houthis of not being serious about striking a peace deal, citing the militia’s continued military operations across the country, mainly in the oil-rich governorate of Marib.
Last Thursday, the advisor to Yemen's president, Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi, accused Iran of mobilizing its axis of sectarian destruction to support Houthis in seizing Marib and obstructing the Saudi peace initiative.
At a time when the world awaits the UN and US efforts to cease hostilities and bring peace to Yemen, the Iranian sectarian axis of destruction is being mobilized behind the Houthis to occupy Marib, he wrote on Twitter.
The small Marib city, which has become the shelter of two million IDPs who fled Houthi carnage, is resisting with the determination of the Yemeni people and a history dating back to thousands of years, he said.
In addition, Iran has instructed the Houthis to obstruct the Saudi peace initiative like it instructed them not to sign what had been agreed upon at the peace negotiations in Kuwait years ago, he added.