Riyadh No Mediator but Party to War: Yemeni Official on GCC Invitation for Talks
A senior Yemeni official has reacted to a recent report that the Saudi-based Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] is considering inviting the Ansarullah resistance movement and other Yemeni parties for consultations, saying the kingdom cannot be a mediator as it is a perpetrator of the bloody war.
“What is being circulated in the media about the GCC invitation for talks is in fact an invitation by Riyadh,” the head of Yemen’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said in a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday.
“Riyadh is itself a party in the war, not a mediator,” he asserted.
The remarks came after two Gulf officials told Reuters that formal invitations would be sent within days for the talks, planned to be held in Riyadh between March 29 and April 7, to discuss military, political and economic aspects of the war.
Ansarullah officials, they added, would be “guests” of GCC Secretary-General Nayef Falah Mubarak al-Hajraf at the body’s Riyadh headquarters and would have his security guarantees if the group accepted the invitation.
Gulf officials, who declined to be named, also noted that former Saudi-sponsored Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is based in Riyadh, had agreed to the discussions.
Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states.
The objective was to return to power the Hadi regime and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.
The war has stopped well shy of all of its goals, despite killing tens of thousands of Yemenis and turning entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Yemeni forces have continued to grow stronger in the face of the Saudi-led invaders, advancing toward strategic areas held by Saudi-led mercenaries, including Marib province, and conducting several rounds of counterstrikes against Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent months.