Yemen’s internationally recognized government’s foreign minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak arrived in Muscat, where he met with his Omani counterpart Sayyed Badr Al Busaidi. According to sources familiar with the meeting, the two top diplomats discussed the latest situation and the international efforts aiming to ensure peace in Yemen.
Arriving in Muscat on Saturday, the Yemeni minister’s visit came as part of his Gulf tour. It was reported that his visit seeks ways for improving bilateral relations between the two countries. On the other hand, the visit is evaluated as a sign that some progress might have been achieved in negotiations between the Yemeni government and the Iranian-backed Houthi group.
On the other hand, the visit draws attention because it coincided with the visit of the Omani delegation, accompanied by the Houthi group’s spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam, to Houthi-controlled Sanaa. Commenting upon the visit of the Omani delegation, Houthi spokesperson Abdulsalam told reporters that the visit came as part of Oman’s efforts “to serve the interests of Yemen and the region.” The visit will focus on developments in Yemen and ongoing efforts to provide peace in the country, he added.
Last week, Oman also hosted the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths. In his visit to Muscat, Griffiths met with the top Houthi negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam who is residing in the Gulf country. Earlier, the Houthi spokesperson did not accept to meet with the UN envoy, which caused heavy criticism by the US State Department.
Following Griffiths’ visit, the US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking and Congressman Chris Murphy paid a visit to Muscat to discuss possible steps for boosting peace talks in the war-devastated country.
Oman, known for its mediatory role in regional conflicts, shares borders with Yemen and Saudi Arabia and has good relations with Iran. Acknowledged as a close US ally, Oman comes into prominence as a suitable actor who could facilitate peace talks for Yemen due to all these features it possesses.