In Riyadh, major peace talks between Yemeni factions begin.
The Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen called a cease-fire on Wednesday in Riyadh, hoping to bring the horrific battle to an end.

The conference included hundreds of Yemeni lawmakers, tribal leaders, and current and former military and security officers. The Houthis have declined to participate in the GCC-sponsored discussions.

The GCC secretary-general, Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, opened the summit by urging participants to put their differences aside and find a comprehensive solution to end the war.

He emphasized that the Gulf bloc would support the results.
“The success of the Yemeni-Yemeni negotiations is not an option, but an obligation,” Al-Hajraf said, praising the coalition’s swift response to the GCC’s call for a cease-fire.

The coalition stated on Tuesday night that it will cease military operations in Yemen in order to facilitate the negotiations’ success.

Hans Grundberg, the UN’s Yemen envoy, who is presently brokering similar discussions in the Jordanian capital — albeit with fewer participants — said Riyadh has historically played a key role in helping peace efforts.

“Riyadh has provided a forum for discussion that has resulted in significant agreements, such as the GCC Initiative and the Riyadh Agreement.” He stated, “We need the region’s cooperation now more than ever to advance toward an inclusive political process under the (UN’s) auspices.”
He went on to say that the war has destroyed the country’s state institutions, social fiber, and economy, as well as killing thousands of Yemeni civilians.

“The longer a conflict lasts, the more serious the impact on civilians will be, and the more difficult it will be to repair the damage.” Yemenis must be able to see a clear path out.”
The ambassador claimed that his most recent efforts to persuade the warring factions to cease fighting during Ramadan had generated some gains.

“I’ve been working with all parties to reach a truce for over two months, and we’re making progress.” Yemen requires a cease-fire. I’m approaching the parties with a sense of urgency in order to reach a truce by the start of Ramadan.”
The US envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, also expressed support for UN and GCC requests for a cease to all hostilities during Ramadan.

“We are committed to assisting UN-led efforts to establish a permanent, inclusive resolution to the war,” he added, encouraging the participants to find a solution to Yemen’s humanitarian crisis.

“On behalf of the United States, I express our fervent hope that everyone present today would take advantage of this critical opportunity to collaborate and identify concrete initiatives that will enhance the lives of all Yemenis.”

For the first time in years, competing political, military, and tribal heavyweights from Yemen have convened in Riyadh, including senior members of the General People’s Congress and leaders of the pro-independence Southern Transitional Council.
During the conference, participants told Arab News that they hoped the massive assembly of Yemenis would agree on a path forward.

“Yemen’s position is a disaster. There is a major gasoline scarcity, and the people are extremely destitute. “We hope that during the talks, Yemenis will unite their voices and that the international community, particularly Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council, will assist them in implementing the outcomes,” Abdullah bin Ali Jaber, a tribal leader from Hadramout in the southeastern province of Yemen, said.
The Houthis are said to have turned down the offer from the GCC to participate in the negotiations and have increased their military actions across Yemen, including in the central province of Marib.

According to local officials and media sources, the Houthis launched massive attacks on government troops outside of Marib, presumably taking advantage of the pause in coalition bombardment.

“The Houthis have rejected all appeals for peace and responded with an escalation,” military analyst Yahiya Abu Hatem told Arab News. This organization is Iran’s instrument for undermining Arab security.” Yemenis should put their differences aside and “point their weapons at the Houthis,” he urged.

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