Saudi Arabia Proposes Peace Deal to End War in Yemen

Saudi Arabia has proposed a peace deal to end nearly six years of war in Yemen, calling for a nationwide ceasefire and for the reopening of the airport in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan announced the peace proposal in Riyadh, stating that it serves as “an opportunity to end the crisis and for all sides in Yemen to put the interests of the Yemeni people and of Yemen first.”

Prince Faisal urged the Iran-backed Houthi rebels to accept the peace deal and said that the ceasefire, which the United Nations (UN) would supervise, would come into force as soon as the Houthis agreed to the deal.

“The initiative aims to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people and give the Houthis the opportunity to uphold the interests of Yemen and its honorable people first over Iranian expansionist goals,” Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman stated on Twitter.

The deal also includes new talks to reach political negotiations and a resolution to the conflict.

UN Spokesperson Farhan Haq said in a news briefing that he welcomed the peace proposal.

However, Houthis said that the proposal provided “nothing new” and did not appear to meet their demand of lifting the air and sea blockade, according to reports.

Senior Yemen Analyst Peter Salisbury at the International Crisis Group stated on Twitter that the proposal is not a “new initiative,” but a “new spin on a year old one.”

Salisbury also said that the proposal is “likely aimed at pressuring” Houthis.

“The Houthi response has been clear: they say this is an old offer, and that they’ve been clear in their position. Completely lift barriers to movement on Hodeida and Sanaa airport. They accuse the Saudis of using the humanitarian crisis as leverage,” Salisbury said.

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