RIYADH (RAHNUMA):The US envoy seeking to end Yemen’s brutal war headed back to the region Monday as the Houthi militia presses ahead with an offensive to take the government’s last northern toehold.
Tim Lenderking, named by President Joe Biden in his first days in office in a sign of renewed US effort to address the humanitarian catastrophe, will visit several Gulf nations on a trip that will last through March 3, the State Department said.
His discussions “will focus on the United States’ dual-track approach to end the conflict in Yemen: a lasting political solution and humanitarian relief for the Yemeni people,” a statement from the State Department said, without specifying his exact stops.
The statement also said that he is expected to meet with senior government officials in the region and UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths.
Lenderking was in the region less than two weeks ago when he held talks in Saudi Arabia.
On his return to Washington, Lenderking said the administration was working “to energize international diplomatic efforts with our Gulf partners, the United Nations and others to create the right conditions for a cease-fire and to push the parties toward a negotiated settlement to end the war in Yemen.”
The diplomacy comes as the Houthis ignore international calls for restraint and seek to capture Marib, the internationally recognized government’s last major bastion in the north which lies next to some of Yemen’s richest oil fields.
The Biden administration in one of its first moves ended a last-minute designation by former president Donald Trump’s team of the Iranian-backed Houthis as a terrorist organization.