The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced Monday a ceasefire initiative to halt the six-year fighting in Yemen and facilitate humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said the initiative includes reopening Sana’a Airport to certain destinations and reviving a revenue-sharing mechanism between the Houthis and Riyadh-backed government.
“This initiative comes in the context of the ongoing support for the UN special envoy Martin Griffiths and the American envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking and the positive role of Oman to push the effort to find a political solution to the crisis,” the chief Saudi diploma said.
The Saudi “comprehensive” ceasefire proposal was welcomed by the Yemeni government; however, the Iran-backed Houthis showed little interest in the initiative.
Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed A. BinMubarak said the Yemeni government welcomes the Saudi “initiative for reopening Sanaa Airport to multiple destinations, allowing all ships complying with UNSC Resolutions, and depositing funds to CBY for salary disbursements per 2014 records.”
Bin Mubark reiterated that the Yemeni government “reaffirms its call for returning to political negotiations in the interest of peace and alleviating the deep suffering of the people,” accusing the Houthi rebels of intentionally prolonging the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.
Spokesperson for the Houthis, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said the proposal lacks seriousness and that the Saudis have to show good intentions.
“If they are serious, they can lift the siege on Yemenis and then propose initiatives to express their good intentions.”
This comes amid heavy Houthi attacks aimed to capture Marib city, the last stronghold for the Yemeni government in northern Yemen and home to more than one million IDPs.
Last week, the rebels rejected a plan by the U.S for a nationwide ceasefire using the same claims, even though the U.S. showed good intention and revoked the terrorist designation of Houthis for humanitarian purposes.
The U.S. move, however, did not encourage Houthis to engage in peace talks as it emboldened them to go further with their military attacks on Marib and KSA.