4/3/2021–|Last updated: 4/3/202106:34 AM (Makkah)
A member of the Houthi political bureau, Muhammad Al-Bukhaiti, confirmed that indirect communication has taken place between the group and US officials regarding the situation in Yemen.
Al-Bukhaiti said in an interview with Al-Jazeera that “this communication did not make any progress to resolve the crisis.”
Reuters quoted two informed sources as saying that senior US officials held the first direct meeting with officials from the Yemeni Houthi group in the Sultanate of Oman, in light of the new US administration’s endeavor to put an end to the 6-year-old Yemeni war.
The two sources added that the discussions – which no party had announced – took place in the Omani capital, Muscat, on February 26, between the US envoy to Yemen Timothy Lenderking and the chief Houthi negotiator, Muhammad Abdul Salam.
The agency said that US officials urged the Houthis to hold talks with Saudi Arabia and stop the attack on the Yemeni city of Marib.
On the other hand, State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to confirm what was reported by Reuters regarding the meeting of the US envoy to Yemen, Timothy Lindriking, with officials from the Houthi group last month in Amman.
“The US envoy has communicated with all officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council states,” Price said during a press conference, indicating that he had returned to Riyadh for further consultations on resolving the conflict and providing relief to Yemenis.
For his part, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, “Ending the war in Yemen needs a Saudi initiative that begins with lifting the siege on Yemen and stopping the war.”
Zadeh confirmed in an interview with Al-Jazeera that Iran is ready for dialogue with Saudi Arabia.
A few days ago, the United States imposed sanctions on two leaders of the Houthi group, referring to their role in the attacks on Saudi Arabia and ships in the Red Sea.
The administration of US President Joe Biden issued a decision on February 16 to remove the Houthi group from the list of terrorist groups, after Washington stopped providing military support to the Saudi-Emirati coalition fighting a war alongside the legitimacy against the Houthis supported by Iran.