Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik held talks with UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, in Aden. The two officials reportedly discussed the latest situation in the war-torn country as well as steps needed to be taken to resolve the worsening humanitarian crisis, including the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.
At the meeting in Yemen’s interim capital, Aden, Prime Minister Abdulmalik accused the Iran-backed Houthi group of undermining peace efforts and maintaining its deadly attacks, targeting civilians in Yemen. He also emphasized that Iranian support to the Houthi group paves the way for instability in the country.
“Peace will not be achieved in Yemen as long as Iran insists on its aggressive blackmail against the world through its sabotage tools represented by the Houthi militia,” the prime minister reportedly said at the meeting.
Prime Minister also chastised the international community for failing to exert sufficient pressure on the Houthis to convince them to accept a comprehensive ceasefire and sit on the negotiation table for a political settlement.
Abdulmalik also blamed the international community for not doing the same thing against the Houthis now as they did when the Yemeni government was close to taking control of Hodeidah in 2018, saying, “In Hodeidah, the international movement was collective, and the pressures were great. But in Marib, we only see individual statements. This makes Yemenis lose confidence in the peace path.”
Prior to his landing in Aden, UN envoy Grundberg made a statement, calling all Yemeni parties to deploy all their means to achieve peace in Yemen and bring an end to the more than six-year war.
In his remarks, the Swedish diplomat said, “Ending the conflict and reaching a comprehensive and inclusive political solution that meets the aspirations of Yemenis should be the primary and urgent objective of all relevant actors. It is a shared responsibility that requires everyone’s full commitment to peace efforts.”
Meanwhile, a report issued by local Iranian media indicated that Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to search for a joint practical mechanism for a solution in Yemen. Quoting from an Arab diplomatic source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Iranian news site reported that the agreement was reached at a meeting held between Saudi and Iranian officials at Baghdad Airport on September 21.
Last week, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan admitted that the fourth round of talks with Iran’s new government under President Ebrahim Raisi had been held in September, without giving further details.