According to a diplomat, Yemeni government officials have convened in Saudi Arabia to discuss a comprehensive three-year peace plan to end the country’s protracted civil conflict.
“On Thursday, Saudi Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman met with Rashad Al-Alimi, chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council (PLC), and other high-ranking Yemeni government officials in Riyadh, where he presented the kingdom’s plan for peace in Yemen,” a diplomat told Xinhua late Friday.
The proposed plan, which is based on a series of back-channel negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Houthi militia in Muscat over the past few months, consists of three main stages that will be implemented over a three-year period, he said, adding that Yemeni officials have already shown their initial support for the plan.
According to the source, the first phase of the plan is “a six-month armistice between warring factions in Yemen, during which efforts will be made to restore trust and set the foundation for peace.”
In the second phase, Yemeni groups would discuss crucial problems and reopen highways, airways, and seaports.
According to the official, the third phase would be a two-year transitional period during which a new, inclusive government would be established, paving the way for the country’s long-term stability and harmony.
The Yemeni government and the Houthi insurgent group are likely to proclaim a cease-fire in the coming days, the official added.
Another Yemeni government official verified to Xinhua that the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Muhammad Al Jaber, and an Omani delegation will meet with Houthi leaders in Sanaa to discuss “the concluding arrangements” of the ceasefire.
Previous rounds of negotiations between the Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia, and the Houthi insurgents were mediated by Oman and the United Nations.
Muscat has helped both parties communicate and maintain good relations.
Yemeni observers hope that the proposed peace plan will end the ongoing conflict and alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the country.
The United Nations has been attempting to mediate a political solution to the conflict, but previous efforts have failed due to a lack of trust between the opposing parties and the continuation of violence on the ground.
Since 2014, Yemen has been embroiled in a devastating civil conflict between the Houthis and the internationally recognized government.
In 2015, a coalition headed by Saudi Arabia intervened in the conflict in support of the Yemeni government.