Official Saudi sources confirmed that the ultimate solution to the Yemeni crisis “enjoins ending the presence of militias” in the country and stressed that the recent changes on the ground will provide an opportunity for a “real” ceasefire on the 10th of April and will also “create opportunities” for negotiations which are supposed to begin in Kuwait on the 18th of April.
These sources also said in a small press conference in Paris on Wednesday that the UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has obtained “assurances” from the Houthi militias that their representatives “will go to Kuwait to implement the UN Resolution 2216 which calls for the militias to withdraw from cities, hand over heavy weapons and enable the state to exercise its powers”.
Commenting on the observations that some have made about the role of the Arab coalition forces and what they have achieved in Yemen, the same sources urged people to “compare” the situation that was prevalent in Yemen a year ago before operation “Decisive Storm” to the situation of the country today where “the legitimate government has reclaimed large parts of the country, the Houthis have withdrawn and the path has been paved for serious political negotiations between Yemenis”.
On the other hand, the sources said that Riyadh’s relations with Washington are “strategic and historical”. However, they did not deny the existence of discrepancies and differences of opinion that “will be discussed” during President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia in the coming weeks. The sources believe that Obama intends to visit Riyadh because Saudi Arabia is “an important country and an element of stability in the region. The two countries have common interests including fighting ISIS, Al-Qaeda and terrorism in general, and the Americans and the west know our role in this war”.
Regarding the withdrawal of Saudi Arabia’s “gift” to Lebanon which led to contracts for supplying French weapons to the Lebanese army, the Saudi sources said that Saudi Arabia supports “Lebanon and wants to ensure its safety and security “. However, its decision to withdraw the aid was based on “Hezbollah’s seizure of the stability of the Lebanese state, and the fact that Saudi Arabia did not want to provide weapons to the Lebanese army that Hezbollah would use to kill the Syrian people”. The sources said that the withdrawal of aid should not be “exaggerated” and said that Saudi Arabia has always supported Lebanon and stood by its side in all circumstances.