In a development that could reduce violence from years of civil war, an Omani delegation arrived in Sanaa in June 2021 to negotiate terms for a cease-fire between the legitimate Yemeni government and Houthi rebels.
Houthi leaders tentatively embraced a United Nations proposal to enforce a cease-fire in exchange for the Yemeni government lifting a naval blockade. As part of a deal, Yemen would reopen Sanaa Airport and the Port of Hodeida.
Martin Griffiths, U.N. special envoy for Yemen, expressed regret for his failure to mediate a lasting cease-fire during his three-year tenure. He told the U.N. Security Council he hoped Oman’s diplomacy “will bear fruit.”
The international community is encouraging the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, which has defied all previous efforts to broker a cease-fire, to end a war that has killed hundreds of thousands and damaged much of the country’s infrastructure.
The world has come to rely on Oman as a trusted peacemaker. Not only did it help broker the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal of 2015, it sought to reconcile Qatar and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries after a breach in relations in 2017. The efforts of then-Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah set the stage for the restoration of diplomatic relations between Qatar and its neighbors in January 2021.
Oman’s political, economic and social stability, combined with its professed neutrality on the world stage, has gained it the trust of hostile parties seeking an unbiased mediator to resolve conflicts. Sources: Reuters, alarab.co.uk, omandaily.com, the Independent