Lenderking: There is no direct American communication with Iran regarding Yemen

English - Saturday 23 September 2023 الساعة 04:12 pm
Mocha, NewsYemen, exclusive:

 The US envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, called on Iran to support peace efforts in Yemen and change its behavior towards the country, denying that Washington had entered into any direct contacts with Tehran on this issue.

 Al-Sharq News newspaper quoted Lenderking as saying: “We are very keen to see Iran support peace efforts, and I know that many parties are talking to the Iranians, and we are in turn talking to those parties,” apparently referring to the Sultanate of Oman.

He added: “It has been a long period of time since they (the Iranians) have been fueling the conflict by smuggling weapons, violating UN Security Council resolutions,” but he stressed that “this moment is appropriate, I believe, for the entire world to unite to achieve peace in Yemen,” expressing his hope that "Iranians are changing their behavior."

 The American envoy called on Tehran to join the bandwagon, welcoming any positive shift in their position, or support for a political solution to the Yemeni conflict.

Lenderking described the tripartite meeting of the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, and the United States, Anthony Blinken, last Tuesday, on the sidelines of the work of the United Nations General Assembly at its 78th session in New York, as excellent and wonderful, stressing that Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are strong partners in many dimensions.

 He stated that the meeting focused largely on Yemen in different ways.

 The American envoy considered that the Saudi discussions with the Sanaa delegation were very positive, pointing out that regular participation between the two parties is important to contribute to a permanent ceasefire and the United Nations-led process, which we want to see as the next step.

Lenderking noted that many countries and entities welcomed these talks as a positive indicator, adding: “We do not have all the details that were discussed, but we understand from various parties that the talks were positive, and there is progress, and our strong hope is that these contacts will continue in an active manner at a high level.”  "Until we get an agreement."

 When the newspaper asked him about the prospects for permanent peace in Yemen, the American envoy said: “I have been in this position for two and a half years, and since my appointment as envoy, I have been motivated to work with the international community, with the United Nations, and with the parties to the conflict, to find ways to end the current conflict.”

 Lenderking noted that "the truce in Yemen continued for 18 months," which enabled the reopening of Sana'a airport to commercial traffic, air traffic for the first time since 2016, more commercial goods coming to some Yemeni ports, and the ability of Yemenis to travel to obtain medical care.  But he believes that this achievement is insufficient, stressing the need to reach a permanent ceasefire.

The American envoy expressed his concern about the possibility of any setback, adding: “For this reason we said that this moment is fragile,” and stressed that it cannot be assumed that the war has necessarily ended, because the parties did not agree to that, and what we are experiencing now is a period of continuous truce.”

 He expressed his desire to see a permanent ceasefire and Yemeni-Yemeni talks, saying that this will give us the secure peace that I believe we and the Yemeni people are seeking.

 Regarding the possibility of reaching a peace agreement before the end of US President Joe Biden’s first term, the American envoy said: “I do not think the matter is linked to any timetable for any particular country.”