US envoy meets Saudi crown prince in fresh Yemen peace push

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30/04/21

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received Tim Lenderking. (SPA)

Lenderking called the battle for the Marib region the single biggest threat to peace efforts
Lenderking is expected to also travel to Oman
AL-MUKALLA: US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking met Saudi Arabia’s crown prince as he pushes efforts to end Yemen’s civil war.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the diplomat discussed the latest Yemeni developments and reviewed the joint efforts exerted by both countries to reach a comprehensive political solution for the Yemeni crisis.
The meeting was attended by the Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, and the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber.
They were also joined by the chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Riyadh, Martina Strong, and the US Ambassador to Yemen, Christopher Henzel.
Lenderking is expected to also travel to Oman, the US State Department said in a statement.
Lenderking’s “discussions will focus on ensuring the regular and unimpeded delivery of commodities and humanitarian assistance throughout Yemen, promoting a lasting ceasefire, and transitioning the parties to a political process,” the statement said.
Lenderking “will build on the international consensus to halt the Houthi offensive on Marib, which only worsens the humanitarian crisis threatening the Yemeni people,” the State Department said.
Last week, Lenderking called the battle for the Marib region the single biggest threat to peace efforts. He said Iran’s support for the Houthi movement was “quite significant and it’s lethal.”
Separately, a team of US envoys is traveling to the Middle East this week for talks with key allies, a senior US official said, amid simmering concerns in the region about President Joe Biden’s attempt to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal.
“A senior interagency delegation will be traveling over the coming week to discuss a number of important matters related to US national security and ongoing efforts toward a de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East region,” the official said.
The delegation will be led by Brett McGurk, the White House National Security Council’s Middle East policy coordinator, and State Department counselor Derek Chollett, a source familiar with the trip said.
While the final itinerary was unclear, there were tentative plans for the team to visit Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan. Bloomberg News was first to report the news of the trip.
Meanwhile, the Houthis dismissed a prosecutor who ordered the release of the abducted Yemeni model Entesar Al-Hammadi as they intimidated her lawyer to quit the case.
Khaled Mohammed Al-Kamal said the Houthi judicial authorities on Wednesday replaced Riyadh Al-Aryani, a prosecutor who questioned the model and found out she was not guilty of a crime and ordered her release, and threatened to put her on trial.
“They want to tell him that he should say she committed a crime instead of ordering her release,” Al-Kamal said, adding that an unidentified man stopped him in the street and threatened to punish him if he continued to defend the model.
“I alerted my colleagues at Yemen Lawyers Union about the death threat. My client is not a criminal and was arrested on the street,” he said.

This article was first published in Arab News

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