Alwaght- As in recent days a new round of ceasefire negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Ansarullah to end the war has been held in the shadow of a fragile calm, the AP, citing a UN official, has reported about Riyadh's step-by-step roadmap for so-called peace talks.
The Yemeni National Salvation Government (NSG) led by Ansarullah expressed its discontent with Saudi regime's refusal to fulfill its commitments of the ceasefire agreement and. The NSG, in retaliatory moves, disrupted flow of oil exports from southern Yemen terminals and at the same time threatened Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as the main aggressors, with retaliatory attacks.
One of the most important demands of Sana’a in the recent negotiations was paying salaries of all government employees by the Saudi-backed Aden-based Presidential Leadership Council. Ansarullah also called for ending the inhumane siege, stopping attacks on Yemeni nation, and reopening Sana’a airport as the demands to be implemented after implementing humanitarian demands.
However, in a situation that control of Saudi Arabia and the UAE over the southern Yemen regions via their proxies is increasing concerns about grave plots of the aggression states that seek partition of Yemen and seizure of its ports, islands, and natural resources, the AP, citing a Saudi diplomat, reported that paying salaries of military personnel is possible on the condition of giving security guarantees by Ansarullah including creation of a buffer zone between Ansarullah-controlled areas and the Saudi borders, as well as lifting encirclement of Ta’izz province.
Saudi regime's demand for security guarantees is certainly an excuse to avoid responsibility for possible failure of the negotiations and escalation tensions. After all, during the previous round of talks, despite Saudi treacherous approach and decline to commit to the terms of the truce deal that was extended two times, it was Ansarullah that stopped its deterrence operations in Saudi Arabia and even after expiration of the ceasefire, it has not launched a major attack on the Saudi soil.
From another aspect, Saudi Arabia’s request is a kind of open admission of weakness against the resistance movement and concern of Saudi leaders about the future of the developments in the Peninsula. It can be understood from the Saudi demands that buffer zone demand shows the vulnerability of Saudi borders with Yemen, especially since Saudi Arabia and Yemen have had significant border tensions for a long time, and Ansarullah with the high determination it has shown in defending the security and territorial integrity of Yemen against the aggressors will probably take steps to wrest the stolen historical rights of Yemenis from Riyadh.
There is no doubt that one of the security concerns of Saudi Arabia regarding the future developments in Yemen is the re-emergence of territorial claims in the political atmosphere and public opinion of Yemen concerning the territories that were granted to the kingdom by puppet rulers and then annexed.
The two countries have substantial territorial disputes. This repeatedly caused border clashes between them. Their borders are not demarcated neither on the maps nor on the ground, and this is the only undetermined border in West Asia region. Territorial disputes between Yemen and Saudi Arabia cover large tracts of lands. Yemen lays claims to Asir, Najran, and Jizan as provinces occupied by Saudi Arabia. The provinces were handed over to Saudi Arabia for 20 years in 1934 under Taif Treaty. This treaty was extended in 1954, 1974, and 1995 under duress and despite Yemen’s reluctance.
A center of conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen in the 1920s, Asir was easily occupied by Saudi forces in 1926. At the time, the Saudis forced Asir’s ruler Hassan Edrissi to sign a treaty bringing the province under Saudi mandate. The Imamiyah government of Yemen in the north led by Imam Yahya was so unhappy with this treaty. It encouraged a rebellion by Edrissi in 1932. However, he lost the war and retreated.
In response to the developments, Imam Yahya decided to go to war with Saudi Arabia in 1934, and during this war, which lasted for 45 days, the Saudi forces managed to capture Tihama up to the port of Hudaydeh. Imam Yahya asked for peace and on May 20, 1934, the Taif Treaty was signed between the two countries. According to the treaty, Saudi Arabia took control of Asir, Najran and Jizan and these areas were later annexed to Saudi Arabia. The treaty was set to be until 1992, but the Saudis were not willing to return these three oil-rich provinces. In fact, these areas are the oil-rich lands of Saudi Arabia, increasing their sensitivity. Finally and under pressures, the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed Jeddah Treaty in 2000, officially drawing the borders with Saudi Arabia that included annexation of the three provinces.
As Saudi Arabia was severely concerned about vulnerability of its oil giant Aramco oil facilities in the border provinces with Yemen, fear of Ansarullah progress on the battlegrounds and speculations about its intention to raise the claims about the disputed provinces makes Saudis to demand security guarantees from Yemen, especially that Ansarullah forces during past years battles have managed to advance 10 kilometers deep into Saudi territory in Jizan and Najran provinces.