File image: Supporters of Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement attend a rally, marking the sixth anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition’s invasion of Yemen, in the capital Sanaa on 26 March, 2021. (Photo credit: Mohammed Huwais / AFP)
Yemeni Foreign Minister in the National Salvation Government (NSG), Hisham Sharaf, said on 11 October that there will be no talks about extending the UN-brokered truce with the Saudi-led coalition until Sanaa’s “legitimate demands are fully met.”
He made the comments during a meeting with the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Joyce Msuya.
Sharaf highlighted that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are fully aware of Sanaa’s demands, which include using Yemen’s oil revenue to pay the salaries of the state employees and setting the stage to begin peace negotiations.
“We do not accept a situation where Yemeni people are caught between war and peace,” the Yemeni foreign minister said, adding that Sanaa wants to lead the country “away from any foreign tutelage or dictates.”
Sharaf pointed out that the Saudi-led coalition’s continued seizure of fuel shipments headed for the port of Hodeidah – and the failure to open Sanaa airport completely and to more destinations – have worsened an already dire humanitarian situation across Yemen.
His words came one day before the coalition seized a new fuel ship headed towards Hodeidah despite it passing UN inspections.
The Yemeni official also asked the UN to step up its humanitarian programs and provide the Arab world’s poorest nation with more food and medical supplies.
For her part, Msuya underlined that Yemen remains a high priority for the UN, and called for the political settlement of the conflict in Yemen.
A UN-brokered truce between the Saudi-led coalition and Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance group expired at the start of October, six months after it was first implemented.
On 11 October, Lebanese daily Al Akhbar cited well-informed sources in Sanaa as saying that Oman has been making headway in mediating the dispute between Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition.
The report also cites experts as saying they expect Muscat’s efforts to achieve a breakthrough under the “heavy support” of the US and the UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg.
Diplomatic sources reportedly confirmed that “regional and international powers” have pressured the Yemeni side to revive the truce agreement.
This new pressure on Yemen is allegedly a result of the recent oil supply cut by OPEC+, as Washington is now fearful of any repercussions a military escalation by Sanaa would have on Saudi and Emirati energy supplies, at a time when the west is struggling to keep fuel prices down.