Optimism in Yemen over possibility of new truce extension: Report
Talks mediated by Oman have reportedly borne fruit, as the Saudi-led coalition has reportedly agreed to pay the salaries of public employees and lift an illegal sea and air blockade
By News Desk - January 18 2023

(Photo credit: Yamanyoon)

The Yemeni government and the Saudi-led coalition are reportedly inching towards a new six-month extension of the UN-brokered ceasefire that was first implemented last April.

According to a report by Lebanese daily Al Akhbar, the head of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, Mahdi al-Mashat, confirmed that talks with the Omani delegation have borne fruit, as the new agreement would call for the payment of salaries of all state employees by the Saudi-appointed parallel government, as well as the “complete opening of Sanaa airport and the port of Hodeidah.”

The news coincides with UN envoy Hans Grundberg’s latest visit to Sanaa.

“We are witnessing a potential step change [in the conflict’s trajectory]” Grundberg told reporters on Monday, adding that the situation remained “complex and fluid.”

According to Al Akhbar’s sources, the ball is now in Saudi Arabia’s court to agree to the new terms. Riyadh has reportedly taken a “mediator” stance in these negotiations to disguise its role as the aggressor; however, the kingdom is seeking guarantees from the Ansarallah resistance over the security of its southern border.

Saudi Arabia has also developed a US-approved roadmap to settle the situation in Yemen, in which the coalition makes a number of key promises, including lifting a brutal economic blockade.

The UN-brokered ceasefire between Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition expired on 2 October, 2022. At the time, officials warned that the agreement was at a “dead end” due to the reluctance of Riyadh and its allies to lift the blockade on the country and alleviate the severe humanitarian crisis.

“During the six months of the truce, we have not seen any seriousness to address the humanitarian file as an urgent priority,” Sanaa’s UN negotiating team said in a statement on 1 October.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, Abdulaziz al-Wasil, recently demanded that the organization take stronger action against Ansarallah, claiming that the resistance continues to “stall and reject peaceful solutions.” This statement was made mere weeks after a source revealed to The Cradle that the US sabotaged previous agreements and prevented Riyadh from reaching a final agreement.

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