Saudi ambassador shaking the hands of Houthi's Mahdi Al-Mashat

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


Sun, 09-04-2023 07:09 PM, Aden

Aden (South24) 

Earlier today, the head of the Houthi Political Council, Mahdi Al-Mashat, met with the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Mohammad Al Jaber, who is visiting Sanaa, accompanied by a Saudi and Omani delegation, who arrived on Saturday.

Houthi media published pictures showing Al-Mashat shaking hands with Al Jaber and the head of the Omani delegation at the Republican Palace in Sanaa. The September 26 newspaper said that Al-Mashat expressed his appreciation for Muscat's efforts to bridge views.

Mahdi Al-Mashat meeting the Saudi and Omani delegates in Sanaa (Houthi media)

Although it may not be the first Saudi visit to Sanaa since the outbreak of the war, as there were reports of unannounced visits in earlier times, this official visit comes after months of direct talks between Riyadh and the Houthis, mediated by Oman, and after weeks of reconciliation agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran under Chinese auspices.

Reuters reported a few days ago about the visit of the two Gulf delegations to Sanaa to "discuss reaching a ceasefire," noting that "the conflicting parties in Yemen may announce an agreement before Eid al-Fitr holiday."

On April 7, an informed source revealed to "South24 Center" that "there is agreement between the Yemeni parties on a three-stage roadmap for resolving the crisis." The source said that the first phase "includes confidence-building measures, including the opening of land, sea and air borders, the resumption of oil exports and the exchange of prisoners."

The source pointed out that "the second stage of what the parties agreed upon includes a Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue," while the third stage includes "a comprehensive political process leading to a two-year transitional period."

The Saudi newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, said on Thursday that there is a "Yemeni transitional peace phase awaiting the final touches." The newspaper said that the plan being discussed is divided into three stages: the first is six months, then three months, and finally two years, "quoting unnamed sources.

The newspaper confirmed that "the plan also includes opening all ports, lifting restrictions on land, sea and air ports, and normalizing its work, whether in Houthi or the legitimate government controlled areas, in addition to a comprehensive economic reform process with Saudi support."

On Thursday, government sources told "South24 Center" that the Saudi-led Coalition canceled the inspection mechanism for ships heading to the port of Aden. A document of the Ministry of Transport confirmed the readiness of the ports of South Yemen to receive direct flights from various countries.

On Saturday, the EA Blue Nile container ship arrived in Aden directly, as the first ship not subject to inspection in the Saudi port of Jeddah as an intermediate port in years.

In statements reported by Asharq Al-Awsat, the PLC member and STC President Major General Aidrous Al-Zubaidi said that "the PLC agrees with the Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the upcoming road map for the comprehensive political process."

"A negotiating framework for South Issue will be established within the context of the comprehensive negotiations that will take place in the coming days," Al-Zubaidi added.

The Saudi newspaper had previously quoted sources as saying that the PLC entrusted its Southern members, Aidrous Al-Zubaidi, Faraj Al-Bahsani, Abdullah Al-Alimi and Abdulrahman Al-Muharrami, to draw up a concept paper on South Issue to be discussed within the main files.

South24 Center

YemenSaudi ArabiaSanaaHouthisChinaIranPrisoners exchangeSea ports