The Omani delegation arriving in Sanaa, North Yemen. August 17, 2022 (Reuters)

Oman Resumes its Mediation Between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis


Thu, 17-08-2023 05:25 PM, Aden

Sanaa (South24)

The Sultanate of Oman has resumed its diplomatic mediation between Saudi Arabia and the Iranian-backed Houthi group, after a stalemate that lasted for months.

Today, an Omani delegation arrived in Sanaa, accompanied by the Houthis' chief negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam.

Abdulsalam posted on "X": "We and the Omani delegation arrived [..] in Sanaa to consult with the leadership, evaluate the stage, and resume the negotiating process, foremost of which is solving humanitarian files."

In statements reported by the Houthi media center on Telegram, Abdulsalam renewed the group's adherence to its negotiating terms.

"We are working to revive the negotiating process, starting with the humanitarian file and its catastrophic repercussions, whether in opening airports and ports and paying salaries," he said.

The Houthi leader described these conditions as "humanitarian demands." He said that negotiations with "the other party will not take place before they are implemented."

These developments coincide with an official visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to Riyadh at the invitation of his Saudi counterpart.

Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, held a joint press conference.

The Iranian minister said that relations between his country and Saudi Arabia are "moving in the right direction." He added, "Tehran supports the holding of Expo 2030 in Saudi Arabia."

The Saudi foreign minister said, "There is a serious desire to enhance confidence and expand cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iran."

"This meeting is a continuation of the steps to resume relations between the two countries. We look forward to the visit of the Iranian president, in response to King Salman's invitation," he added.

Yemeni media reported on the arrival of a Saudi delegation to Sanaa also today. "South24 Center" has not independently verified the validity of this information.

The Omani mediation between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis reached its peak last April, when the Saudi ambassador visited Sanaa and met senior Houthi officials publicly for the first time since 2015.

Related: After 8 Years of War: Saudi Arabia Shakes Hands with the Houthis

Later, the mediation seemed to falter or stall.

The salary file of employees in the Houthi areas constitutes a basic node, as the group demands that it be disbursed from oil and gas revenues, most of which are concentrated in South Yemen.

Yesterday, the Emirati-based newspaper, Al-Bayan, quoted Yemeni government sources saying, "the mediations have made significant progress in overcoming part of the obstacles set by the Houthi militia, especially with regard to the item related to the payment of employee salaries in the areas under its control."

In his briefing to the United Nations (UN) Security Council yesterday, UN Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg said: " at the heart of my mediation efforts remains the resumption of an inclusive, Yemeni-owned political process under United Nations auspices".

Grundberg spoke about his recent meetings in Riyadh and Muscat. He said his office held other meetings in Aden.

In recent weeks, the Houthis have escalated  their military attacks against the Southern forces on a number of fronts. They also carried out various military reviews on the borders between South and North.

The Houthi milia leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi threatened a few days ago to resume the war if their conditions were not met.

South24 Center

North YemenSanaaOmanSaudi ArabiaMohammed AbdulsalamPeace talks