US Special Envoy Lenderking (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

US Envoy: The Unity Decision is Up To the Yemenis


Thu, 29-09-2022 04:38 PM, Aden

Aden (South24)

The US special Envoy to Yemen Timothy Linderking said on yesterday that "the decision of unity or otherwise can not be taken on behalf of Yemen."

This came in an interview by the "Independent Arabia", in which he talked about a number of topics related to the Yemeni issue, including the humanitarian truce, supporting the PLC, and the Yemeni unity.

 "We believe that Yemenis should make their own decisions about the future of their country," Lenderking said, after being asked about Washington's position on the "separatists" in South, according to the newspaper, “It is up to the Yemenis," he said.

He added: "What we would like to see now urgently is for the PLC to unite and support the Yemeni people tangibly and secure support from the region."

"Therefore, we consider Chairman Al-Alimi's visit to the United Nations General Assembly an effective way to receive support from us and the region,” he added. 

Lenderking said that "the events that took place in Shabwa and South during the past six weeks impacted the truce." He added, "We have concerns and are monitoring the situation on a daily basis."

The US State Department had announced a meeting between Lenderking and Washington's ambassador in Muscat, on September 13, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, Badr Al-Busaidi.

“They agreed that stability in [South] Yemen is of paramount importance," the foreign ministry said. The Omani Foreign Ministry published about the meeting, but did not mention the details of the US State Department about South.

The envoy, who was appointed in February 2021, said that Washington is working with partners in the region, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Muscat, to reach a permanent ceasefire in Yemen.

Lenderking expressed frustration with the Houthis' behavior towards the truce, which expires on October 2. "The behavior of the Houthis over the past weeks has frustrated us," he said.

He added, "This has disrupted the process of fuel ships entering the port of Hodeidah and created an unnecessary crisis that deprived Yemenis of the benefits of the truce which reduced the number of casualties by 60%."

Lenderking said Washington "does not take Houthi violations of the truce lightly. This is contrary to the spirit that the international community is trying to instill."

He explained that his efforts in Yemen "focus on two goals, first to push for political negotiations, and secondly to alleviate the humanitarian crisis."

Lenderking reviewed Washington's humanitarian support for Yemen, which he said had reached $6 billion since the beginning of the conflict in the country.

The Envoy touched on the Jeddah Summit for Security and Development, which was held last July in Saudi Arabia, and Yemen was absent from it, despite the presence of the PLC‘s Chairman Rashad Al-Alimi in the Summit’s city.

Lenderking blamed "scheduling problems" as the reason for not meeting the Yemeni government's desire to meet US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of that summit.

Despite his criticism of the Houthis for continuing to detain US embassy employees in Sanaa, Lenderking said the group has done better at various times since his appointment.

He added: "They welcomed the truce. We expect them to abide by the terms of the truce so that it can be extended and expanded by the second of October."

Lenderking said the issue of supporting the Yemeni government militarily was "already under discussion." He noted that the government is an "important partner in the fight against terrorist groups."

The Envoy also did not hide his concern about the escalation of the Iranian role in support of the Houthis in Yemen if Tehran's frozen assets are released in a deal with Washington.

On the second of next October, the third UN-sponsored truce will expire. While the PLC is ready to extend it, the Houthis have resorted to threatening war if their conditions are not accepted.

South24 Center

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