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UN Welcomes US Decision To ‘strengthen Its Diplomatic Engagement’ Towards Yemen Peace Deal


The UN on Friday told
journalists
that it welcomed the
decision by the United States “to strengthen it’s
diplomatic engagement” and support efforts led by the UN
Special Envoy for Yemen, to ends years of conflict
there.

In a policy speech on Thursday,
President Joe Biden said that his administration would end
its support for offensive operations on the part of the
Saudi-led coalition, which encompasses the internationally
recognized Government.

The coalition – which
includes other Arab nations backed by the US, UK, and France
– began air strikes against Houthi or Ansar Allah-held
areas of the country in early 2015.

UN figures
published in December, indicate
that
just over 230,000 may have died during the
conflict, including some 131,000 from indirect cause such as
lack of food, and healthcare.

“We welcome the
decision of the United States to strengthen its diplomatic
engagement in support of the UN-led efforts to find a
negotiated, comprehensive political solution to end the
conflict in Yemen”, the note to correspondents based at UN
Headquarters said.

‘Positive
development’

“This is a positive development that
could create further momentum for dialogue. Special Envoy
Griffiths
looks forward to working constructively with
all parties at this critical time for the Yemeni people”,
added the note from the Spokesperson’s
Office
.

According to news reports, as part of its
policy shift, the Biden administration has put a temporary
halt on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab
Emirates (UAE), who are coalition partners. The US has
reportedly named a new special envoy for Yemen, to bolster
the new diplomatic effort, but also made clear that the
initiative will not affect its operations against terrorist
group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Reverse
terrorist designation

The UN statement concluded by
welcoming “all decisions seeking to create further space
for dialogue and to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni
people. In this connection, we continue to call for the
reversal of the designation of the Houthis as a Foreign
Terrorist Organization, and Specially Designated Global
Terrorist.”

The previous US administration announced
last month that it was designating the Houthis a terrorist
organization, based on what the then Secretary-of-State said
were previous cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia, and
alleged “malign activity” by Iran in the Yemen
conflict.

Senior UN officials are calling for the full
reversal of the designation, along with other humanitarian
partners in Yemen, although the Biden administration has
said it will exempt some transactions involving the Houthis,
on humanitarian grounds. Those exemptions are set to expire
on 26 February.

The UN said that the request for full
reversal of the designation was “based purely on
humanitarian grounds, amidst a growing risk of famine in
Yemen.”

© Scoop Media

 



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