Pakistan on Monday welcomed the peace initiative announced by the Saudi Foreign Minister, saying it “offers a comprehensive roadmap including ceasefire for negotiated settlement of the Yemeni crisis.”
The deal includes an offer of a nationwide ceasefire and the lifting of a Saudi-imposed sea and air blockade.
Yemen’s brutal war began in 2014 when Houthi insurgents rose against the government—took control of Yemen’s capital and largest city, Sana’a, demanding lower fuel prices and a new government.
The Kingdom’s traditional ally’s foreign ministry spokesperson office said in a press release that “Pakistan considers this initiative a step in the right direction.”
“We fully support Saudi efforts for peaceful settlement of the conflict and stand in solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
“We urge all parties to the conflict to engage in a meaningful dialogue to end the hostilities in order to save thousands of innocent lives and ensure regional peace and stability” the PR added.
According to State Department spokesman Ned Price, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke to the Saudi Foreign Minister on Monday about Yemen, “discussing the need for all parties to support peace efforts, commit to a ceasefire, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.”
“The Saudi overture was long overdue”, a Saudi economic expert who did not want to be identified tells DesPardes.
“The threat of famine has been growing, and the pressure on Saudis to lift the unilateral blockade has been rising”, says a Gulf observer.
According to a well informed observer in Riyadh, “Saudis are desperate to get out of Yemen war.”
“Many lives have been lost unnecessarily. Damage and destruction caused by airstrikes pocket the country. Starvation and malnutrition ravages the country,” the Saudi economic expert said.
A worsening humanitarian crisis and the machinations of intervening regional powers all have been compounding Yemen’s woes.
The brutal six-year conflict was “a forgotten war,” says a UAE-based observer. “It needs to end…I’m glad with the Saudi initiative.”
“The change in administration at the White House has contributed to this policy change,” a Pakistani defense expert with several years of stint in the Saudi capital said.
In his view, several additional factors led to the policy change:
“Inability of the Arab military coalition to bring about change in ground situation; Increasing ability of Houthi rebels to strike back through use of drones against KSA’a Achilles Heel: oil facilities; Corona has taken its toll (refer to yesterday’s VOAnews report regarding profit drop of Aramco’s); Lastly, ground realities have forced the Arab Coalition to accept the fait accompli.”
“The general public was against the war and have now heaved a sigh of relief,” says the Saudi expert.
According to him, “The Saudi peace offer is a forced one.”
President Joe Biden had announced earlier this year that the US would end support for Saudi Arabia’s offensive operations in Yemen, in a move which was hailed by lawmakers as “historic.”
“The United States has not however publicly rescinded its support for the Saudi blockade,” according to CNN.