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'Stuck in a swamp': Saudi Arabia seeks exit from Yemen war

Yemeni supporters of Huthis rally in the rebel-held capital Sanaa on January 27; on Monday, the UN Security Council voted to extend an arms embargo to all members
— Dubai (AFP)

Eight years after launching its military campaign in Yemen, Saudi Arabia wants to extricate itself from the conflict, despite slim hopes of lasting peace, to focus on ambitious projects at home.

The oil-rich monarchy gave a signal this month by announcing plans to resume ties with Iran, which backs Yemen's Huthi rebels against the Saudi-supported government in a proxy war.

But as Saudi Arabia instigates sweeping social and economic changes as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030" reform, it "is seeking to shift its approach in Yemen from a military strategy to a soft security and political one", said Ahmed Nagi, from the International Crisis Group.

Since the Saudi-led military intervention began on March 26, 2015, the kingdom has pounded its impoverished neighbour with air strikes in a conflict that has triggered one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, according to the United Nations.

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