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US Envoy to Yemen: Houthi Demands Lack Clarity

US Envoy to Yemen: Houthi Demands Lack Clarity

Saturday, 1 October, 2022 - 09:45
US Envoy Tim Lenderking participates at the seminar in Washington. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

US Envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking warned the Iran-backed Houthi militias against undermining the opportunity to extend the nationwide truce on Oct. 2 and “playing political games.”


He underlined the need “to put realistic priorities on the table and avoid the costs of delaying the extension of the truce any further.”


Speaking at a seminar held by the Washington Center for Yemeni Studies on Thursday evening, he hoped that the Yemenis, and the foreign powers supporting them, would agree to extend the truce on Sunday.


Lenderking praised the truce over the past months, which saw a decrease in levels of violence and fighting and the delivery of fuel, which helped provide humanitarian aid.


The truce came into effect in early April and has been extended for a two-month period twice since.


Lenderking continued: “I have found a desire from Saudi Arabia, which I visited last week, and I saw readiness from the Yemeni Presidential Council and the Yemeni government, but what the Houthis are asking for is not clear.”


He noted that the US priority was to see an extension of the truce.


“I wouldn’t say that’s the most we can do, because we have to do a much better job,” he stated.


He added: “I will not say that the truce is everything, but it is the first step. It is important that it continue and expand because… it has brought a lot of benefits.”


He explained that more than 25,000 Yemenis could now travel on commercial airlines, adding that there was more of fuel in the market, which is important for the delivery of humanitarian aid.


The envoy stressed the need to find a way for dialogue, pointing out that civilian casualties decreased by 60 percent over the past month and should be reduced to zero.


“We have a strong position from the international community to support the extension of the truce, and we must seize the opportunity and pressure the parties in Yemen to choose peace and move to a six-month truce, or an extended truce to give time for diplomatic efforts in order to solve technical problems… and provide $5 billion in humanitarian assistance through the US Agency for International Development and the World Food Program,” Lenderking told the seminar.


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