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4 Measures that Outlined US Policy on Yemen in Biden’s First 100 Days in Office

4 Measures that Outlined US Policy on Yemen in Biden’s First 100 Days in Office

Friday, 30 April, 2021 - 05:00
Houthi gunmen in Sanaa. (EPA)

It is clear that the American administration prioritizes diplomatic work amid a strong drive to mediate in the Yemeni crisis and strenuous attempts to resolve its humanitarian crisis and reach a negotiated political solution between all sides. This was demonstrated through the appointment of a special envoy to Yemen and attention President Joe Biden’s administration has given the crisis in his first one hundred days in office.

The new administration has taken four measures that have changed the priorities of the American position, setting itself apart from its predecessor. The Biden administration first lifted the terrorist designation of the Iran-backed Houthi militias and stopped the “logistic and military support” to the Arab coalition, claiming the designation will impact the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The administration also appointed a special envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking. It also set up a meeting between him and the Houthis in Oman in February where they discussed a possible ceasefire. The fourth change was increasing American humanitarian aid by about 300 million dollars.

This new approach was confirmed by an American official at the National Security Council on Tuesday. He said that Washington’s leadership of the world made it inevitable to increase diplomatic efforts in all world issues, including ending American support in the catastrophic crisis in Yemen.

The American national security strategy that was presented to the White House and seen by Asharq Al-Awsat says that the US position will support UN efforts to end the war in order to ease regional tensions and allow people throughout the Middle East to achieve their aspirations.

The current American administration could not have taken all of these steps over Yemen without some form of agreement among members of Congress, which is dominated by Democrats in contrast to the previous administration that often witnessed tussles.

During the first hundred days of the administration, Lenderking met with all sides in the Yemeni political conflict, as well as the foreign sides in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Europe. He has traveled to the region four times in less than two months.

In a tweet on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he met with Lenderking and stressed to him the need to resolve the Yemeni conflict. He also added: “The international community must ask itself why the Houthis are seeking a military solution to the conflict with their assault on Marib, despite the tremendous humanitarian consequences.”

American positions on Yemen have also underscored the role of Saudi Arabia and the legitimate government in ending the conflict and reaching a political settlement between all parties. It recognized that Saudi Arabia is leading positive efforts, in contrast to the negative ones pursued by Iran, in Yemen. It accused Tehran of supporting the Houthis with weapons and training and continuing to destabilize the country.

Lenderking confirmed this destabilizing role before Congress last week, saying Iran has shown no indication of wanting a constructive resolution to the conflict.

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