Omani delegation in Sanaa for new Yemen peace push

Omani delegation in Sanaa for new Yemen peace push
2 min read
23 December, 2022
Oman has been a major conduit between the two warring sides in Yemen's devastating civil war for years.
Oman has a "neighbourly interest" in peace, said a Houthi spokesman [Getty]

Omani delegates are in the Yemeni capital Sanaa this week meeting with Houthi rebel leadership, in a bid to revive peace negotiations to end the country's protracted civil war. 

Yemen has been at war since 2014 following a Houthi takeover of the capital Sanaa, with a Saudi-led intervention taking place a year later. A series of ceasefires were agreed upon in 2022 before breaking down later in the year – but hopes that a new truce can be agreed upon prevail.

"A delegation from the Sultanate of Oman arrived in Sanaa seeking routes ahead for the Yemeni ceasefire," said Houthi-owned TV channel Almasirah.

The diplomats were met by Houthi chief negotiator Mohamed Abdulsalam, who will deliver the latest position from the Saudi-led coalition, which has been fighting the Houthis for nearly eight years. 

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Any progress towards a political truce must be tied to humanitarian efforts, Abdulsalam told Almasirah - including an end to the Saudi-led blockade of Yemeni ports and airports.

The Houthis have also been accused of besieging government areas such as Taiz and withholding aid. 

Food insecurity is at its worst levels in three years and is likely to worsen in the event of intensified conflict in the country. 

An economic collapse, compounded by the war in Ukraine, could drive millions more to the brink of starvation, said the UN this month. 

Though a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Oman has remained neutral in Yemen's war and has refused to join the Saudi-led coalition, which intervened in March 2015 to fight the Houthis.

Oman has also been active in promoting dialogue in the war and mediating between conflicting sides for several years. 

The visit comes at a key moment for Yemen, as the expiration of the truce has led to increased attacks by both sides. 

The war in Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian disaster and has caused untold misery for civilians with both sides accused of violations by rights groups.