Blinken reaffirms support for Yemeni government in call with PM

US secretary of state underlined need for durable and inclusive peace agreement

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s support for Yemen’s government on Thursday during a call with the Yemeni Prime Minister, Maeen Saeed.

Mr Blinken thanked Mr Saeed for his efforts to “ease the suffering of Yemenis”, including his approval for four ships carrying fuel to enter the port of Hodeidah.

“Secretary Blinken welcomed the Republic of Yemen government’s support for a comprehensive, nationwide ceasefire and UN-led political talks, and its continued engagement with UN special envoy [Martin] Griffiths,” the US State Department said.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Mr Blinken “stressed the need for a ceasefire and a durable and inclusive peace agreement to enable full economic recovery and to address the humanitarian crisis".

The call came after Saudi Arabia laid out an initiative to end the seven-year conflict in Yemen, which was drawn up with Mr Griffiths and the US envoy to the country, Tim Lenderking.

The proposal calls for a nationwide ceasefire, intra-Yemeni talks to seek a political resolution and the reopening of the international airport in the capital Sanaa, which is controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Mr Lenderking will return to the Middle East on March 25 for meetings with senior government officials, the State Department said.

He will work alongside Mr Griffiths and discussions will focus on joint international efforts to promote a lasting ceasefire and a peace agreement, and address the country's humanitarian crisis.

This will be Mr Lenderking's third visit to the Middle East since he took office in February.