Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discusses Yemen with US special envoy Tim Lenderking
Biden administration leading international push for UN-mediated ceasefire and end to civil war
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the US special envoy for Yemen, Timothy Lenderking, discussed the situation in the war-torn country during a meeting in the Red Sea city of Neom.
Prince Mohammed and Mr Lenderking reviewed the latest developments in the civil war in Yemen and joint efforts to reach a political solution to the conflict, the state Saudi Press Agency said.
The meeting was attended by the Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman; the Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar; Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan; Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al Jaber; US Ambassador to Yemen Christopher Henzel; and the Charge d'Affaires of the US embassy in Riyadh, Martina Strong.
The US State Department said Mr Lenderking was visiting Saudi Arabia and Oman to discuss efforts to end the civil war and ease the flow of aid to the ravaged country.
The envoy's discussions "will focus on ensuring the regular and unimpeded delivery of commodities and humanitarian assistance throughout Yemen, promoting a lasting ceasefire, and transitioning the parties to a political process", it said.
The civil war has created what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with about 80 per cent of the country's population of 29 million requiring aid and 13 million facing starvation.
The war started in 2015 when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took control of the capital, ousting the internationally recognised government. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened at the government’s request.
US President Joe Biden appointed Mr Lenderking to help revive stalled UN efforts to end the conflict, but a Houthi military offensive in Yemen's gas-rich Marib region is complicating efforts to reach a ceasefire.
The State Department said Mr Lenderking would seek to "build on the international consensus to halt the Houthi offensive on Marib, which only worsens the humanitarian crisis threatening the Yemeni people".
Last week, Mr Lenderking called the battle for the Marib region the single biggest threat to peace efforts. He said Iran's support for the Houthi movement was "quite significant and it's lethal".
Updated: May 1, 2021 11:02 PM