The United States is calling on Yemen’s Houthi rebels to avoid any new military offensives inside Yemen, and to halt attacks affecting civilian areas in Saudi Arabia.
In a statement late Sunday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States is “deeply troubled by continued Houthi attacks.”
“We urge the Houthis to refrain from destabilizing actions and demonstrate their commitment to constructively engage in UN Special Envoy Griffiths’ efforts to achieve peace,” Price said. “The time is now to find an end to this conflict.”
U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths began two days of talks in Iran Sunday as he pushes for a negotiated political settlement to the conflict in Yemen, which began in late 2014 with the Houthis seizing the country’s capital. Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign in defense of Yemen’s internationally recognized government in early 2015.
The U.S. call for the Houthis to cease attacks comes days after the Biden administration ordered an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition, which has come under criticism from rights groups for airstrikes that have struck civilian areas in Yemen.
President Biden called Yemen’s conflict a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.”
He also notified Congress last week that his administration would remove the Houthis from a list of foreign terror organizations, reversing the designation made in the final days of the administration of former President Donald Trump.
Humanitarian organizations had warned that such a designation would harm efforts to get badly needed relief to Yemen. The United Nations calls the situation there the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Source: Voice of America