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US Mobilizing Int’l Pressure on Houthis, Won’t Tie Yemen Crisis to Iran Negotiations

US Mobilizing Int’l Pressure on Houthis, Won’t Tie Yemen Crisis to Iran Negotiations

Monday, 24 May, 2021 - 05:30
The US is seeking international pressure on the Houthis to reach a ceasefire in Yemen. (Reuters)

US State Department Arabic language Spokesperson Geraldine Griffith said Washington was amassing international support against the Iran-backed Houthi militias to make them end their violations in Yemen and return to the political negotiations table.

She stressed that ending the Yemen crisis was one of the priorities of the American administration that has taken the initiative to play this role for the sake of the Yemeni people.

It is working in garnering international support to pressure the Houthis to reach a ceasefire and comply with international calls to that end, she added in remarks to Al Arabiya television.

Moreover, she stated that the situation in Yemen will not be connected to the ongoing negotiations with Iran in Vienna aimed at returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, which the Trump administration quit in 2018.

She stressed that US envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, is focusing his efforts on bolstering the international community’s ability to impose more pressure on the Houthis.

Griffith vowed that her country will not lift sanctions off Iran until it ceases its destabilizing behavior in the region.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blunken said “an inclusive and lasting resolution” of the Yemen conflict is a “top priority” for the United States.

“I look forward to the continued engagement between our countries and other partners to achieve peace, and I affirm our commitment to helping bring about a prosperous future for all Yemenis,” he stressed in a statement on Yemen National Day.

The United States appreciates the Republic of Yemen Government’s ongoing commitments towards achieving peace in Yemen, he added.

The State Department had tweeted that Lenderking met in New York last week with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to discuss easing the humanitarian crisis and ending the conflict in Yemen. The meeting was attended by Daniel Benaim, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs in the Near East Bureau at the State Department.

Blinken had last week accused the Houthis of benefiting from “generous military support” from the Iranian government to launch attacks against civilian population centers and commercial infrastructure in Yemen, aggravating the conditions, which are already known as “the world’s worst current humanitarian disasters.”

In a press statement on Thursday, he encouraged accountability for Houthis’ actions, “which perpetuate conflict in Yemen and undermine peace efforts, including the brutal and costly offensive targeting Marib.”

He noted that the Treasury Department’s designation of two Houthi leaders on the sanctions list came following an unprecedented consensus between the international community and regional actors on the need for an immediate ceasefire and the resumption of peace talks.

“The Houthis benefit from generous military support from the Iranian government to wage attacks against civilian population centers and commercial shipping infrastructure in Yemen, exacerbating conditions in what the United Nations calls one of the world’s worst current humanitarian disasters,” he added.

In another press conference, Lenderking said: “If there were no offensive, if there were a commitment to peace, if the parties are all showing up to deal constructively with the UN envoy, there would be no need for designations.”

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