Saudis Want to End Yemen War ‘With Dignity’

US wants Saudis to remain involved in Yemen after war

Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar has leaked details from a document on talks between Saudi officials and the US special envoy on their respective intentions in the Yemen War.

As the US understands it, the Saudis are very keen to end the Yemen War and leave “with dignity.” They are envisioning a step toward a transitional government in Yemen.

US Special Envoy Timothy Lenderking suggested that the US isn’t necessarily on board there, saying the US emphasized “the necessity of not leaving Yemen completely,” and that they want the Saudis to remain involved in Yemen to a similar extent as they were before the current war.

It’s not clear that’s going to work after seven years of war, as it has made clear the downside of Saudi meddling, and keeping them permanently involved seemingly just lays the groundwork for the next war. That the US is pushing this severely undercuts Biden’s talk of facilitating the war’s end.

As far as a transitional government being the way out of Yemen, that clearly could work, and has been a focus in past peace talks. The only reason this didn’t happen before was disagreements over the power-sharing structure of this government.

The tragedy of such an end is that it could’ve avoided the war entirely, as all the Houthis ever wanted was a move toward free elections and a new government, and it was only the insistence to try to keep President Hadi in power beyond his term in office, which ended 8 years ago, that led to the Saudi-led invasion.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of