US diplomat Lenderking flies to Germany, Gulf region for Yemen ceasefire talks
The UN envoy for Yemen said efforts to reach a ceasefire were at a “critical moment,” calling on all sides to “seize the opportunity that exists now and negotiate in good faith without preconditions”
Tim Lenderking arrived in Germany for talks with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas “in conjunction with the visit of UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths,” according to the State Department.
On Monday, Griffiths said efforts to reach a ceasefire were at a “critical moment,” and he called on all sides to “seize the opportunity that exists now and negotiate in good faith without preconditions.”
Officials from the UN Security Council and leaders from Germany, Sweden, Kuwait, and the European Union gathered in Berlin for talks on Yemen.
Meanwhile, the State Department said Lenderking would discuss the need for “an immediate end to the offensive in Marib.”
German FM @HeikoMaas welcomes #USEnvoyYemen Lenderking's appointment by @POTUS, which shows U.S. commitment to end #Yemen conflict. @OSE_Yemen pays tribute to U.S., says Lenderking "redefined the notion of tireless by his activity & his perseverance in trying to help all of us." https://t.co/IC4ahucqMd pic.twitter.com/ie7AbFi9N3— U.S. State Dept - Near Eastern Affairs (@StateDept_NEA) April 12, 2021
The Iran-backed Houthis have escalated an offensive on one of the country’s last government strongholds since US President Joe Biden lifted terrorism sanctions on the group and its leaders.
“The group will also discuss steps the international community can take to mitigate the suffering of the Yemeni people, including additional humanitarian assistance and follow-through on past pledges,” the State Department said.
Saudi Arabia has made several moves in an effort to help the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Riyadh has sent millions of dollars in humanitarian aid for Yemen.
Lenderking is scheduled to head to the Gulf on April 14 for more meetings with senior government officials in the region. “His discussions will maintain the focus on joint international efforts to promote a peace agreement and efforts to address the dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” the State Department said.
Yemen’s government has voiced its willingness to reach a political solution to the yearslong war while the Houthis continue to escalate their cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and their offensive in Marib.
This will be Lenderking’s fourth trip to the region since being appointed as Biden’s special envoy for Yemen in February.