End to Yemen War Could Soon Be Reality

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says a cease-fire in Yemen could start as early as November 17, “provided that everybody does their part.”

Yemen’s armed Houthi movement and a Saudi-led military alliance have agreed on supporting a solution for the conflict in Yemen based on the framework laid out to establish a new Yemeni national unity government by the end of the year.

The Omani road map, based on an initiative by Kerry, calls for Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to hand power to a less divisive deputy in exchange for the Houthis withdrawing from Yemen’s main cities.

Kerry spoke Tuesday at the end of a visit to the United Arab Emirates and said he is very hopeful this agreement will come together and added the talks have “a potential to be a real turning point.”

“There’s a humanitarian disaster in Yemen. There’s serious security and economic and political and humanitarian challenges and our sense is, and most of the parties we talked to, agree, in fact all the parties we talked to agree that there’s no military solution. So, if that is the fact then you’ve got to get into what is the political solution,” Kerry said.
Kerry also said he had a “very constructive discussion” with Yusuf bin Alawi, the minister responsible for foreign affairs, before also talking about the bloody and desperate situation in neighboring Yemen with Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

The absolute monarch and Kerry discussed the importance of peace talks and getting a framework in place. In the past, neither side was willing to stop fighting.

The U.S. official said he Houthi agreed “for the first time publicly” to send representatives to de-escalation and coordinating committee and to “accept the road map including the sequencing that is in the road map presented by the envoy as a basis for negotiations.”

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