On Monday, Aug. 13, a high-level conference on the Reference of the Political Solution in Yemen was held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the GCC in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The conference was co-chaired by Dr. Ahmed Bin Daghar, prime mMinister of the Republic of Yemen and Dr. Abdullatif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani, GCC Secretary General. It was attended by ambassadors and representatives of more than 40 countries including the G19 group, the Friends of Yemen, the coalition supporting legitimacy in Yemen, the United Nations, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The conference discussed references for the political solution in Yemen comprising the GCC Initiative and its mechanism of implementation, the merits of the peaceful transfer of power, outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference and the UN Security Council Resolution 2216. The conference aimed to underscore these references amid the call from the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, for a round of peace talks between the Yemeni parties to be held in Geneva on Sept. 6, 2018. The crisis in Yemen has been ongoing for many years and implies that a political solution that is compliant to the above said references provides a sustainable solution to it. Such a solution would drive Yemen out of this crisis and represent a passage to peace, stability and development. The solution includes three major steps:
First of all, supporting the Yemeni government in seizing control over all the Yemeni territories as per the UN Security Council Resolution 2216, and enhancing its efficiency and competence. This entails complete withdrawal of the Houthi militias from the capital, Sanaa, in particular, as well as from all other areas of their control, handing over of their weapons to the state, and restoring state institutions. The Iran backed Houthi militias do not only pose a national threat, rather they have become a regional threat as they launch ballistic missiles towards Saudi Arabia targeting its vital installations, something that have been internationally condemned.
Most recently, Houthi militias attacked a Saudi oil tanker in the international water to the west of the port of Hodeida. This kind of repeated attack by the Houthi militias, targeting the maritime navigation and global trade lines across Bab Al-Mandab Straits and the southern Red Sea, makes them an international threat. Therefore, until a suitable atmosphere for a political solution has been established within the framework of the said references, seizing control over all the Yemeni territories and securing the borders is of great significance.
Secondly, drawing up a road map for the crisis in compliance with the prescribed references. Avoiding these references will lead to a slippery slope that will take the country into the unknown, ending in a dark tunnel that will only open the door to Iranian ambitions. No political solution has ever been nationally and internationally recognized like the political solution in Yemen.
Indeed, references to the political solution in Yemen comprising the GCC Initiative and its mechanism of implementation, outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference and UN Security Council Resolution 2216 have attained national, regional, and international recognition. It goes without saying that these references have also attained international recognition through the inclusion of UN Security Council Resolution 2216 of these references in its articles.
Thirdly, providing support to the Yemeni government by the International Community in implementing the outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference and all other references. This support should be provided through the international platforms, international organizations, and the media. On the ground, real pressure must be applied to push the Yemeni political process. Furthermore, the Iranian-backed Houthi militias must be forced to respond to the will of the Yemeni people.
Likewise, the international resolutions related to the Yemeni crisis fore-fronted by UN Security Council Resolution 2216, issued Under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, must be implemented. In addition, the international community has to assist the Yemeni government by providing humanitarian support and lifting the suffering of all Yemeni citizens throughout the country.
Finally, I believe that the solution in Yemen is very clear. With the collective efforts of the international community, the crisis will come to an end. A peaceful and smooth transition to power will be achieved, followed by a period of security, stability and a focus on overcoming reliance on assistance and relief to the stage of development, construction and economy, and building a Yemen that is stable and secure where justice, equality and development prevail.
— Dr. Ibrahim Al-Othaimin is a Middle East affair specialist and security analyst based in Riyadh. He can be contacted at Ibarhim.firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @AlothaiminIbrahim.email@example.com
The article was first published on Saudi Gazette