Alwaght- While in recent weeks officials of Yemen’s National Salvation Government (NSG) resumed their warnings to Saudi Arabia that they will not accept the state of no peace, no war and clashes are likely to return if the Saudis continue to procrastinate, in a surprising development, Saudi media reported that an Ansarullah delegation in a rare visit traveled to Saudi Arabia to discuss a peace deal.
Saudi Foreign Ministry on Saturday stated that Riyadh invited an Ansarullah delegation to follow up the negotiations based on the March 2021 initiative. Mohammad Abdul Salam, the chief Yemeni negotiator, confirmed that the delegation will discuss humanitarian and economic cases with the Saudi side for a comprehensive political solution.
Dhaifullah al-Shami, the minister of information in the NSG, said that the visit was a show of good will to Riyadh, and that the Yemeni delegation made the visit not at Saudi invitation but by Omani mediation. Adding that the information regarding a recent visit to Oman of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman show that he asked Muscat arrangement for Yemeni delegation’s visit, al-Shami maintained that Saudi Arabia tries to paint itself as a mediator in Yemen war, but it will never succeed because it is one of parties of aggression.
This is the first Ansarullah delegation’s visit to the Arab kingdom since the 2015 aggression and it appears to display the Saudi concerns about consequence of Riyadh ignoring the negotiating table and Ansarullah losing patience with the current limbo.
According to Ansarullah’s officials, the talks focus on a range of cases including lifting Hudaydah Port blockade, reopening Sana’a International Airport, paying the salaries of Ansarullah government employees, and addressing the prisoners and reconstruction cases. Sources from Sana’a also reported that Ansarullah is set to discuss a “final formula” for a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire, and then the warring sides will directly begin negotiations for a political solution according to the agreement with UN, Saudi Arabia, and Oman’s support.
Ansarullah has always been an advocate to end of war and start of peace and called the aggression coalition to accept Sana’a’s conditions to put an end to war, but Riyadh officials have so far declined to accept these demands.
Ansarullah argues that the salaries of civil servants should be paid from oil and gas revenues, but Riyadh rulers have refused to hand over Yemen’s assets to Sana’a.
According to the statistics published by Sana’a, Saudi Arabia has earned more than $11 billion from the sale of Yemeni oil, all of which are kept in Saudi banks, and this amount of money is enough to pay employees’ salaries.
A regional and international consensus appears to exist in this round of talks. The US State Department announced in a statement that this important step towards peace expands the scope of a series of exchanges between Saudi Arabia and Ansarullah. According to this statement, the talks in Riyadh are being held following last week’s trip of senior American officials to Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE to consult with their partners in the region and the Yemeni parties regarding the practical path towards peace.
Some sources said that regional peace has become the main demand of the US and Saudi Arabia after recent G20 summit in India, and the two are ready to pay the cost for stability. It is noteworthy that at Group of 20 summit last week, India unveiled the project to construct the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean corridor, which is supposed to be done with the participation of the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, and the US welcomed this plan. But since this corridor will pass through the territory of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, it is necessary for the Saudi-led coalition to determine the state of war in Yemen, because the continuation of the conflict is a serious threat to the implementation of this rail corridor, and for this reason, the peace talks have been resumed.
Ansarullah’s warnings worked
Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia, by hosting Ansarullah, tries to pretend that the Arab coalition still has the upper hand on the ground, in practice it is vice versa.
Despite the tightly held blockade, Ansarullah attained missile and drone triumphs and several times struck depth of the aggression countries. Additionally, now Ansarallah forces are the dominant side in Yemen and force the Saudis to negotiate.
Ansarullah’s delegation was invited to Riyadh after the leaders of Sana’a issued an ultimatum to the aggression coalition to end the war before it is too late. Abdulaziz Bin Habtoor, the Prime Minister of NSG, warned the aggressors in a speech last week that the current period is the last chance and deadline by the Yemeni armed forces to end the war. Mahdi al-Mashat, head of the Sana’a-based Supreme Political Council of Yemen, said in a message directed to the coalition countries that Yemen can target any part of their territories from its own territory with its missile power. Sana’a leaders confidently warn that the Yemenis have the capability to strike sensitive Saudi facilities, including the under-construction Neom project, and cripple the Saudi maritime navigation in the Red Sea.
Sana’a leaders have repeatedly warned that as long as blockade and occupation continue, there will be no ceasefire and they can use force to wrest Yemen’s rights from the aggressors.
Presently focusing on Saudi Vision 2030, bin Salman needs for arrangements to rest assured of Yemen case, since Ansarullah has the military capability to dash the king-in-waiting’s dreams. The Yemenis have been living the catastrophe of war over the past nine years and have nothing to lose and they say they can resist as long as war continues, but the case is different with the Saudi side as Riyadh dreams of regional economic leadership and strives to upgrade to the world’s 10th economic power. Actually, it needs to end Yemen war and cut the heavy costs of a crisis it made.
The Saudis are rolling out the red carpet for the Yemenis while at the beginning of the war, they were looking at the Yemenis disdainfully, but now they sit at the table with them and ask Ansarullah for help to get out of the quagmire they are immersed in, and this glorious victory and strength is for a Yemen that empty-handed resisted to an armed-to-the-teeth coalition in an unequal war.