Opportunities and challenges Yemen peace process Saudi initiative panel

Press release | Republic Underground, Timberwolf-Phoenix LLC 

April 27, 2021 

“Yemen” by www.steveconover.info is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

“Researching the opportunities and challenges of the peace process in Yemen

in light of the Saudi initiative.”


When: April 27, 2021 – 11 Mecca Al-Mukarramah local time

Where: Zoom Stand

Organizer: The Arab Initiative for Education and Development

Session management: Dr. Wissam Basindwa, Secretary General of the Arab Initiative for Education and Development


Dr. Manel Msalmi, advisor to the European Parliament in the Middle East and North Africa

A. Magdy Al-Akwa, Assistant Secretary-General of the Human Rights League – Switzerland

A. Jason Brodsky is a senior analyst and editor in Middle East affairs

A. Basem Ali is an activist and human rights defender

A. Abdul Nasser Al-Qadari, head of the Yemeni Dutch Center for Defense of Rights and Freedoms

Andy Verma, member of the International Alliance for Rights and Freedoms – European Parliament


Dr. Wesam chaired the seminar and started her speech and said: “We are talking in the middle of Ramadan, and we did not like to miss these days without us being present, especially since the events that are taking place in Yemen and everything related to the region are escalating, so we must not stand idly by even if they are Events do not help, because there is much that we can analyze and talk about always and forever and discuss solutions to these problems that we suffer from.”

She added, “We will talk today about the opportunities and challenges of the peace process in Yemen, more than 6 years ago with this war launched by the Houthi militia and stole the dream of the Yemenis without a glimmer of hope because they close all possible doors in any aspect of peace operations, and because they, as everyone knows, are not authorized by themselves.


Iran’s guilt in the region and the world, we are talking about five weeks after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched a peace initiative, and it is not the first time that the Kingdom proposes peace initiatives, as it has adopted successive peace processes and truces during the previous years, but the Houthis do not abide by any truce and do not try stopping this war because, unfortunately, like all the militias in the world, unfortunately, they eat, exist in the war and invest in it, financially, morally and politically, and during the five weeks in which Saudi Arabia launched the initiative, which the whole world welcomed and supported by all the countries of the world and legitimacy, and they found in it a glimmer of hope, which the Houthis rejected directly, and they are still practicing their approach.


EscalationDr. Manal Al-Muslimi, a Belgian parliamentarian and advisor to the European Parliament for foreign affairs in the Middle East and North Africa region, who in turn thanked the researchers and participants in the symposium, then said: “I am happy to be with you to share these challenges regarding stability and peace in Yemen.

The Arab Spring changed the map in Yemen and gave hope, but this tragic change did not bear fruit for women. As for the 2011 track, it led to a repressive regime that did not give access to stability and peace. Therefore, women must be included in this path, and their work against corruption and for peace and stability.


And in 2014, the United Nations Peace Initiative included, in particular, engaging tribes, youth and women, so that they could be with each other after 30 percent of women had a “quota” in drafting a new constitution, but this dialogue failed in the status of the democratic Yemeni, and there was a great conflict between the parties.”


She added, “Yemen today is experiencing one of the biggest crises, and the country is facing famine and in order to build peace processes, all activists and actors must participate as youth and women leaders, and in order to change this field through civil society interventions for peace, and the Security Council has worked on Activating the quota and for activists to be active in building peace for Yemen and the region, especially for new generations. “


“Women fear for the future of their children, so it is very important to support educational programs that help to move away from extremism, but the Houthis have led to changing these programs and changing schools into barracks. This is a major crime where children are exploited in the context of war,” she added.


These ideologies must stop because they lead to the escalation of extremism, and children today suffer from great psychological tensions, and human rights organizations confirm today that the Houthis have recruited thousands of children, and activists say that 1,400 children between the ages of 10 to 15 years have been recruited by the militias. They were killed in the battles, and the Houthis organized two centers to train children, starting in the seventh year of the war.


Msalmi asserts that the peace path that Saudi Arabia began with shows that the Houthi militias today are a tool to implement Iranian programs targeting Saudi Arabia and to monitor shipping lines, as the militias play an important role, funded by Iran, which seeks to influence the region. “Today we see that the international community remains silent.


The UN Security Council supports the Saudi initiative seeking solutions to this crisis, but all Yemeni parties must participate in order to reach a ceasefire, and the participation of women and youth is a priority. Violence in Marib must stop,” Msalmi said. The war led to the killing of at least 120,000 people and increased poverty for four million Yemenis. Here, the parties must see that there are possibilities to reconsider the peace process, and agreements must pay attention to the new reality.


Prof. Jason Bardsky, senior analyst and editor on Middle East affairs, said: “I want to talk in three points about this important topic. The first point is the role of the United States in this Yemeni war and how this intersects with what we see in us.”

The second point: Iran’s endeavor to use Yemen as an example by using their tails to intervene, working to intervene in the field, and the third point: the impact of talks on nuclear armament on what is happening in Yemen.

Under the Trump administration, the sanctions were based on the establishment of the Iranian ambassador, Hassan Rouhani, with regard to the Houthis, and this is what we have done temporarily, also they were inviting the different parties, and we saw these trends being implemented in Yemen through Hassan Arlo and this was important, since 2015 Iran has not named an ambassador to Yemen.

The biography of Larlo is that he is an experienced diplomat and had experience in the Foreign Ministry and before that, he was the Iranian diplomatic envoy in Iraq.

Some press reports give us some information that we do not find that provides any connection to the diplomatic work, such as his participation in a training for Hezbollah in 1999, which was in connection with Qassem Soleimani, if “Arlo” and Soleimani participated in the training, and I think that Iran is transferring the Iraqi experience to Yemen, and this is what should be done. To take it into consideration in our interest in the peace process in Yemen. “

He added, “Arlo has led to an increase in the military and operational capabilities of the Houthis, who confirmed two weeks ago that they have nothing to do with Iran, and this confirms that this is not true.”

After being outraged, the Houthis were included in the list of terrorist organizations, they escalated their attack against Saudi Arabia, as the Houthis interpreted this as enhancing their operations. The UN envoy confirmed that the Houthis launched more than 150 drones on Saudi Arabia, and that in 2021 the Houthis launched the largest number of aircraft and ballistic missiles, and all these matters must be taken into account, especially with regard to sanctions, and the search for a solution in Yemen.

Majdi Al-Akwa spoke and said: “The topic of the symposium is the most important concern for everyone at the local, regional and international levels. Everyone is looking for peace to restore security and stability to Yemen, but the efforts and initiatives are shocked by the intransigence of the Houthi militia that rejects peace and which has a long history in that when the dawn of war since 2004 and the failure of all efforts, initiatives and truces that were trying to bring peace, whether in the governorates of Saada and Amran or at the level of the regions in which the war exploded, they have never committed themselves to either a peace initiative, no treaties, or a truce at all.

The biggest challenge facing the peace process is that it is related. Abroad, and specifically in the Iranian regime, the Houthi militia implements Iranian agendas and moves according to Iranian interests, and does not care about the Yemeni people and their suffering, which is basically the one who created this suffering. “

He added, “The most important reason for the failure of peace initiatives in Yemen is the ideological ideology of the Houthis who do not believe in peace, the political process or democracy. If there is a peace process in Yemen, it must be permanent, based on the principles of disarmament, removing it from the hand of the militia and keeping it in the hands of the state.” Otherwise, it will be a fragile peace process, and we will be another Hezbollah in Yemen. “

 Nasser Qadri also spoke about the horizon of this initiative and started it with a Quranic verse and said: “O those who believe, enter all peace.” God Almighty was truthful, and continued his speech: “The Islamic religion calls for peace before it calls for war. Regarding the opportunities for challenges to the peace process in Yemen, I think that There are really challenges facing this process, and there are opportunities for peace. The challenges that I see in this Saudi initiative are among the first reasons represented by Iranian foreign interference in particular.”


There is no doubt that the attempt of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the coalition to have reconciliation at the internal levels and to gather the ranks of Yemenis and abroad, as the Kingdom seeks a good neighborly relationship and a coherent relationship, while Iranian interventions seek other interventions that seek to spread anxiety and Shiite doctrine through the Houthis and expansion in the Arabian Peninsula region.


Spoke prof. Basim, saying: “The Houthis are bargaining in the name of peace to commit more crimes and make field advances, taking advantage of them if there is a truce or negotiations. The Houthis obstruct all peace initiatives, and death sentences are still issued against journalists and civilians who are kidnapped by the Houthi militia, and the mobilization of the fronts continues and the launch The Houthis are promoting peace through their media trumpets while on the ground they continue to violate the ceasefire initiatives.How will peace come with a group whose slogan is death.Unfortunately, the situation in Yemen is getting worse due to the encouragement of President Biden’s recent administration, and this is what we see in their recent escalation in the city of Marib.




Andy Vermet, an activist from the International Coalition for Rights and Freedoms, said: “I think you know recently that anti-aircraft missiles, technical phones, and machines made in the Netherlands and issued for use in China were found in the possession of the Houthis, and the Dutch parliament is conducting investigations in this regard. China and then from China, usually to Yemen, so the goal is always to activate the sanctions regime against any country or party that smuggles weapons to the Houthis, and through that we can talk about the possibility of peace, otherwise we cannot talk about a peace process in light of the continued smuggling of these weapons and ammunition To the Houthis. 


Dr. Wessam asked a question to Manal Msalmi, saying: “You followed the peace initiative presented by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, how do you see it and what are the chances of its success according to what we know of the intransigence of the Houthis and their relationship with Iran?”


Manel answered, saying: “I think it is a good initiative, especially with regard to timing, because today we hope that the war will stop and see how the ceasefire can be activated. Saudi Arabia has expressed its willingness and desire to help the various parties to the dialogue, and it is very important for us to think in the interest of the citizens.”


Thousands of millions, especially children who have been recruited by the Houthis, we need to ensure the participation of women, youth, and civil society, and those who work in the field, and without their participation, we cannot talk about peace.


We must open the door to dialogue and if this is with the Houthis, we must give peace a chance, and we need to guarantee from the Houthis a national dialogue, and I support this Saudi initiative. 


Then Dr. Wesam Al-Nadwa concluded by adding some basic points:


“Some people have promoted that the Saudi initiative came after Saudi Arabia found that it had exhausted the war and that it had become weak and the Houthi’s pressure by launching missiles led to this initiative in which there are many concessions, and this is one of the things that we want to respond to.


In fact, the Houthis and their successors, even from the international community, incited the Houthis to attack Marib, so that they could control the oil tanks, and the deadline for the fall of Marib was in March, and the Houthis were paying the price for their failure. The Saudi initiative when it was presented was at an even better time. In the military context and its support for legitimacy, everyone knows that the Saudi Air Force and the Air Hawks played a decisive and important role in preserving Marib, which made the Houthis in a frenzy in an attack on the Kingdom.


It also came after the escalation of the Houthi attacks on the Kingdom, which were largely ineffective attacks, but made it clear to the whole world that it is a terrorist group and that the Kingdom is the sponsor of peace.


The other point is that the Houthis were blackmailing the international community with the idea of ​​the humanitarian crisis, especially what they call “the siege” and any Yemeni knows that everything is in Yemen and that all matters related to humanitarian needs are available in Yemen, and any obstruction is due to the Houthis’ use of that by the Houthis to blackmail citizens and the world, the blockade is a siege on the Houthis’ attempt to smuggle weapons and logistical support. Without this closure, we would have found daily Iranian planes leaking into Yemen, containing Iranian experts, military equipment and drugs.


Yes, there is pressure on civilians because of the closure, but the Houthis are the ones who bear responsibility because they did not agree to any peace initiatives. The Saudi initiative focused on the humanitarian side and spread ashes in the eyes of humanitarian organizations, and these human rights activists who see only one eye and bid in the name of the humanitarian crisis, the initiative included opening Sanaa airport and the port of Hodeidah, depositing money in the Central Bank equally and with you, and the Houthis dispersed, and they paid lip service in the name of sovereignty. We seek for it, a peace that preserves our dignity and is permanent and maintains security and stability for Yemen and the region.