Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthis have endorsed the call for UN negotiations in Oman aiming to end the ongoing Saudi war against the country and move toward a transitional government. The former ruling party, the General People’s Congress (GPC) of Ali Abdullah Saleh, is also backing the plan, saying it is vital to end the Saudi naval blockade of the country.
What this ultimately means is unclear. Pro-Saudi officials are treating the acceptance of the call for talks as tantamount to a full surrender by the Houthis, and are trumpeting it as proof that the Saudi war is being won and will soon “liberate” the country.
That comes from a previous UN Security Council resolution early in the war calling for the Houthis to return control of the nation’s cities to the Hadi government and disarm. It is unclear, however, if the UN call for talks really means to include this as a “precondition.”
The Houthis likely don’t think so, and in that regard their endorsement of the peace talks is not a real shift in position, as they’ve been backing a deal to end the war for months now, only to see the pro-Saudi forces, and former President Hadi in particular, spurning the notion of talks without a surrender.
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