The US on Wednesday demanded an end to the Houthi siege of Abedia to allow beleaguered civilians access to humanitarian aid.
The Iran-backed militia has surrounded the district in the battleground Yemeni province of Marib for more than three weeks, denying 35,000 people access to food, drinking water, medicines and other essentials.
Civilians in Abedia were suffering from what “looks to be encirclement,” a senior US official said at a briefing in Riyadh.
“This is another example of one side pushing for a military solution and putting great pressure on the Yemeni people,” he said. “We call for this situation to be de-escalated and for humanitarian assistance to be able to flow into Abedia.
“We regard the current Houthi offensive in Marib as contrary to the principle of de-escalation. We believe outsiders cannot impose any solution in Yemen. I want to build on UN efforts and those of neighboring countries to create the best climate for Yemenis to negotiate their own future.”
The Houthis were an obstacle to peace, the official said. “How can a well-armed militia continue to operate inside Yemen and still contribute to a peace effort?” he said. “We believe, 100 percent, there is no military solution to this conflict.”
He said the US was not interested in merely a ceasefire, but in a longterm solution. “A ceasefire is one step we want to see happen in order to turn the corner away from conflict and move toward peace and security.”
He said all issues “can best be resolved when we get to a negotiating phase. Our efforts are really focused on bringing the sides together for dialogue.”
He said the US administration put a high priority on resolving the Yemen conflict. “We know that we can’t do that by ourselves. We have to do that in partnership with the Kingdom,” he said. “And we have to do that in partnership with the government of Yemen and their other regional partners.”
Source: Arab News