All options are open in Yemen
Throughout Operation Decisive Storm and now Operation Restoring Hope, the Saudi-led coalition has remained committed to restoring the country’s security and stability above all else. Alliance partners, including the UAE, have consistently put forward a basket of options designed to reach this goal. From a political road map supported by the United Nations in Security Council resolution 2216 to humanitarian aid, the coalition is the leading voice in finding a way out of the chaos engulfing Yemen.
The same cannot be said of the Houthi rebels. With the constant meddling hand of Iran looming in the background, the Houthis have yet to present a coherent way forward for the country. Other than war and chaos, what path have Houthi rebels presented?
That is why, days before a summit at Camp David involving the US president and the GCC leaders, it remains important for the coalition to once again underline its willingness to end this crisis. This week has already seen a flurry of diplomatic activity.
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This week, US secretary of state John Kerry met with Saudi officials in Riyadh, as well as Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s exiled president, and Saudi Arabia has announced a five-day humanitarian ceasefire. Describing the situation on the ground as “dire”, Mr Kerry also announced US$68 million (Dh250m) in US aid for Yemen. From the onset of this crisis, the coalition understood the need to help ordinary Yemenis who have been caught in the middle and Mr Kerry’s calls for a ceasefire match the coalition’s intention to return the country to a peaceful and functioning state.
The incessant Iranian meddling in Yemen, however, can’t be ignored. Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman called on fellow Gulf leaders to stand up to Tehran, saying there was a need to confront an external threat. The Camp David summit will provide coalition members with the chance to convince the US of their commitment to a peaceful and secure Yemen and, by extension, a secure Arabian Peninsula. The Saudi-led alliance remains the player in this conflict that is offering a way out of the morass of war.
Updated: May 7, 2015 04:00 AM