New talks on the war in Yemen?
The US unveiled a blueprint last week for new peace talks on the Yemeni civil war. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for all the warring parties to gather round a table by the end of the month. Observers analyse the chances of this initiative being successful and the motives behind it.
At last Riyadh is being taken to task
Upsala Nya Tidning is cautiously optimistic about the proposal for peace talks on the civil war in Yemen:
“The pressure on Saudi Arabia and the kingdom's allies has increased since Jamal Khashoggi's murder. At last the world has stopped closing its eyes to the brutality of the Saudi regime. And in the US, Saudi Arabia's closest ally outside the Arabian Peninsula, critical voices are growing louder. This is highly significant. US Defense Secretary James Mattis wants peace talks to begin in Sweden within 30 days and a solution to be found that is 'based on a cease-fire, based on a pullback from the border, and then based on a ceasing of dropping of bombs'. Hopefully that will be the case. The suffering in Yemen must come to an end.”
Hope of an end to Saudi control
Yemeni author Bushra Al-Maqtari also sees the potential for a peaceful solution to the war after Khashoggi's killing. In the Qatari daily Al-Araby Al-Jadeed she writes:
“If Khashoggi were to receive justice and his murderers were put on trial, that could put an end to Saudi control over Yemen. The world would finally acknowledge the human tragedy in Yemen. But for this to happen the international community must act conscientiously and recognise the true dimensions of this crime.”
Proper sharing of oil revenues vital
As long as the causes of the civil war are not eliminated, there will be no chance of a permanent ceasefire in Yemen, The Irish Times argues:
“UN talks collapsed in September after they were boycotted by the Houthi side, who object to a Security Council resolution calling on them to surrender areas they have captured. The civil war arose from their rebellion against government proposals to decentralise power in the country, depriving many areas of proper sharing in oil revenues, the country's principal income earner. Unless these longer-term issues are addressed it will not be possible to find a peace settlement.”
No ugly pictures please
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung speculates on what has prompted the US government to suddenly initiate talks:
“Now, after three years of a steadily upgraded humanitarian disaster, a widespread cholera epidemic and starvation impacting millions, we suddenly no longer feel a burning desire for destruction in Yemen (the Saudi destruction in Yemen with the aid of our American precision weapons and political backing). ... Now, at this sensitive time [around the midterm elections] when we are worried about unsightly photographs, we suddenly issue a decree. No one should say that we, the leaders of the Western community of values, have not done our homework.”