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Peace Talks Commence Between Saudi Arabia and Houthi Leaders in Yemen

Darren Maung
Darren is an aspiring writer who wishes to share or create stories to the world and bring humanity together as one. A massive Star Wars nerd and history buff, he finds enjoyable, heart-warming or interesting subjects in any written media.
Published: April 11, 2023
Boys looking at the ruins on Mar. 28 — the seventh anniversary of the war in Yemen — left behind by a strike by Saudi-led coalition forces. (Image: Mohammed Hassoud via Getty Images)

Peace talks are underway in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, after representatives from Saudi Arabia and the Houthi rebel movement met on April 9. The talks bring hope of a permanent ceasefire after more than seven years of bloody fighting.

No more fighting?

In addition to two warring factions, a mediation team from Oman was also present for the meeting, given the country’s constant efforts to bring peace between the two sides for years, Reuters reported.

According to the BBC, there hasn’t been any official confirmation from Saudi Arabia, but sources from the Houthi side claim that the delegations from Saudi Arabia and Oman are in the Yemeni capital. Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi has also allegedly been photographed shaking hands with an anonymous Saudi official.

During a meeting at the Sana’a presidential palace, Mahdi al-Mashat, head of Houthi Supreme Political Council, affirmed that the organization is seeking an “honorable peace” and that the Yemeni people aspire to “freedom and independence,” the Saba News Agency (SABA) reported.

According to sources cited by Reuters, negotiations were centered on reopening the ports controlled by Houthi forces and the Sana’a airport, payment of wages for public servants, and the departure of foreign forces from Yemen.

Mohammed al-Bukaiti, one of the Houthi’s leaders, said on Twitter that achieving “an honorable peace” would be a “triumph of both parties,” calling for both sides to “preserve a peaceful atmosphere and prepare to turn the page of the past.”

The United Nations (UN) envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, called the peace talks “the closest Yemen has been to real progress towards lasting peace.”

“This is a moment to be seized and built on and a real opportunity to start an inclusive political process under UN auspices to sustainably end the conflict,” he told AP News.


The war in Yemen began following an uprising by Houthi forces that led to the ousting of the Yemeni government out of the capital in 2015. A Saudi-led coalition entered Yemen soon after, with Saudi Arabia fearing the rebels were a satellite for its rival, Iran. With logistical and intelligence support from the U.S., UK and France, the coalition gathered allies within Yemen and fought on.

Tens of thousands have died and almost 80 percent of the population were left dependent on humanitarian aid.

One Houthi official reported on Saturday that the rebels had 13 detainees released by Saudi Arabia; traded for a Saudi detainee. This came before a larger prisoner exchange was approved by the warring parties after talks in Switzerland last month by the UN  and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Weeks earlier, Iran also agreed to cease weapon shipments to Houthi forces in Yemen, as part of a deal to restore diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, which was established by China, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing U.S. and Saudi officials.