Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik and US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking have discussed an initiative aiming at achieving a ceasefire in the war-ravaged Arab country.
During their meeting in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh on Wednesday, Abdulmalik reaffirmed his government’s request for holding the Houthi militia accountable for rejecting ceasefire overtures and continuing to target civilians, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Yemeni Prime Minister said that the Houthi militia needs to face the consequences of continuing to “fuel the conflict, launch persistent attacks on civilians in the country especially the internally displaced persons in Marib, and reject all peace initiatives”.
“What we look forward to is a firm reaction from the international community and the UN toward this militia,” he said.
He added that “the Houthi militia is also threatening the national and global peace by collaborating with other terrorist organisations and holding the dangerously decaying Safer oil tanker hostage”.
Abdulmalik also highlighted the need for supporting Yemen’s economic stability and alleviating the country’s humanitarian crisis caused by the years-long military conflict.
For his part, the US envoy to Yemen reiterated his country’s position that calls for an immediate cessation of Houthi attacks on Marib, the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement and achieving economic stability.
Fighting continued to intensify in various Yemeni regions as regional and international efforts failed to convince the warring factions to stop military hostilities and engage in negotiations for permanent peace in the country.
During the past days, the Houthis stepped up military operations and began attempting to make on-ground military advancements toward the government-controlled southern and southeastern provinces.
The pro-government forces backed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition deployed many units across the country’s southern main areas to confront the imminent Houthi attacks, according to the Yemeni officials.
In the country’s central province of al-Bayda, large areas witnessed intense armed confrontations between the Yemeni government forces and the Houthis during the past weeks, leaving many people killed or injured from both sides.
On Tuesday, a total of eight soldiers of the pro-government Yemeni forces were killed and more than 12 others, including senior officers, injured in a missile attack launched by the Houthi militia in the country’s southeastern province of Shabwa.
Yemen has been locked into a civil war in 2014 since the Iran-backed Shia Houthi militia overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa.
Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthis forced him into exile.