Skip to main content

Yemen government 'determined' to renew truce with Huthis: FM

Yemen's foreign minister Ahmed bin Mubarak, speaking in Morocco on Wednesday, said the government wants to renew a ceasefire with Huthi rebels
— Rabat (AFP)

Yemen's government wants to renew a ceasefire with Huthi rebels and will not escalate the conflict, its foreign minister said Wednesday, as a US envoy voiced guarded hope despite the lapse in the six-month truce.

"We are determined to renew the ceasefire and address all problems through dialogue," Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak said during a visit to Morocco.

The UN-brokered ceasefire, which was in effect since April but expired Sunday, had brought a sharp reduction in hostilities and facilitated moves to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation in the country, according to aid agencies.

Some 80 percent of the population rely on aid after eight years of war.

Bin Mubarak said the government wanted to preserve those gains.

"We have not made any escalatory moves, despite the Huthis announcing that the Red Sea is a military zone and directly threatening ships," he said.

The US special envoy on Yemen, Tim Lenderking, said that the "key elements of the truce continue to hold", including low levels of violence and movement of ships and civilian planes.

He said that talks on a truce extension broke down over Huthi "maximalist" demands that their own security personnel receive priority in payment of salaries.

"This essentially hijacked the discussion and it created a threshold that was simply too hard for the other side to contemplate and was entirely unreasonable. And I think some Huthi leaders understand this," Lenderking told reporters.

"I think if we see more flexibility from the Huthi side going forward, then this opens the road, I think, to this much better peace option," he said.

Lenderking said that Saudi Arabia, which has waged a military campaign in support of the government, backed the truce.

He also said that "private messaging" from Iranian leaders, who back the Huthis and have no diplomatic relations with the United States, indicates "they favor and embrace a political solution" and he was not aware of changes due to protests inside Iran.

Fighting between the Huthis and pro-government forces began in 2014, and escalated the following year when a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in support of the loyalists.

The war has killed hundreds of thousands of people, directly and indirectly, and created the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations.

The initial two-month ceasefire, twice renewed, had led to a 60 percent reduction in casualties and allowed fuel imports into the Huthi-held port of Hodeida to quadruple, humanitarian groups said.

UN envoy Hans Grundberg had proposed an extension that would include further measures such as allowing more fuel ships into Hodeida and paying public sector salaries.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial