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Analysis

Why Is Yemen’s Ansarullah Cautious about Responding to Arab Peace Dialogue Invitation?

Tuesday 22 March 2022
Why Is Yemen’s Ansarullah Cautious about Responding to Arab Peace Dialogue Invitation?

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Yemen’s Ansarullah Turns Down (P) GCC Invitation for Talks with Saudi Arabia in Riyadh

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Alwaght- Yemen is close to the eighth year of the Saudi-led Arab aggression that was launched on March 26, 2015. During all these years, despite appalling war crimes of the Arab coalition under a choking siege and daily bombardment, the international pressures on Riyadh have been far below detterent to stop the bloody war due to covert and overt Western support to the aggression. 

Meanwhile, the only hope of the Yemeni people to force the aggressors to stop the attacks and lift the inhuman siege against the country is continuation of resistance and trying to defeat the enemies on the battlefield and put pressure on them. As a result, since the start of Ansarullah Movement's "deterrence operations" in 2019 against important and sensitive economic and military spots of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the Saudi leaders showed considerable interest in going to the negotiating table. 

Now with recent round of retaliatory drone and missile strikes on the Saudi oil facility that successfully realized its goals, and also Riyadh's failure to create a protection shield for its skies despite huge spending, the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council in an intriguing move called for all warring sides in Yemen conflict to join peace negotiations in forthcoming weeks. Needless to say, "invitation to all sides" in the war means an invitation to Ansarullah to join in as the Saudis are well aware that negotiations in which the powerful revolutionary movement is ignored are doomed to fail. 

Ansarullah, however, met the invitation with chill, insisting that Riyadh is unqualified to host peace dialogue because the Saudis have a black record exploiting negotiation proposals and pro-peace gestures to whitewash their crimes and reduce the international pressures on them, without showing a real will to stop war and devastation. 

Amid Sana'a scepticism, it remains to see what is driving the (P) GCC to invite Ansarullah for talks and what effects could the proposal have on the war and crisis in Yemen. 

An admission of defeat 

Naturally, it is not so difficult to figure out that the mastermind of such a summit is Saudi Arabia and the reason that Cooperation Council was tasked with the invitation is that Riyadh wants to save face so that this proposal is not interpreted as an admission of defeat. The invitation, therefore, is a reflection of the Saudi frustration caused by sticking in the war quagmire, with the Saudi leaders stretching their hands to grab any rope to save themselves. That is why in recent months, the most important demand of the Saudis in de-escalation talks with Iran has been Yemen case. Therefore, it must be said that the collapsing Saudi-led front, frustrated with its success on the battlefield and frightened by the continuation of Ansarullah missile and drone strikes into the strategic depth of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, now sees the only solution in drinking the chalice of poison and accepting to sit with Ansarullah for talks. 

Along with Ansarullah regional and international legitimacy growth, the request for Ansarullah to attend talks on Yemen's future on Saudi soil questions both the political validity of Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution 2216 which accuses Ansarullah of coup against the rule in Sana'a, and the claims of legitimacy by the resigned Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Aden-based government. 

Prerequisites for negotiations 

Coalition airstrikes and even the economic blockade of Sana'a have been intensified in recent months, with few expecting a Saudi proposal for a peace talks. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with the support of the US and Britain, have struggled to break the siege of the strategic province of Ma'rib by any means possible with heavy air and ground attacks and by pushing Ansarullah back from the liberated areas to force the movement to the negotiating table. 

But a failure to realize this goal and also to repel retaliatory drone and missile attacks foisted a new reality and condition on the Saudi rulers, with Ansarullah being the upper hand holder and the condition setter. While the Saudi side is trying to use the leverage of continuing economic pressure and sanctions as its only playing card in the negotiations, Ansarullah— reading Riyadh thoughts— has showed unwillingness for talks to force the Saudis ease blockade and end airstrikes and then accept the dialogue proposals while the Saudis are left without a card to play with. 

 

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