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US Special Envoy for Yemen heading to Gulf to ‘reinvigorate peace efforts’

Lenderking’s visit comes on the heels of the deadly attack on Abu Dhabi, claimed by the Iran-backed Houthis.

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US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking is heading to the Gulf and London to “reinvigorate peace efforts,” the State Department said Wednesday.

Lenderking’s visit comes on the heels of the deadly attack on Abu Dhabi, claimed by the Iran-backed Houthis.

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“The Special Envoy and his team will press the parties to de-escalate militarily and seize the new year to participate fully in an inclusive UN-led peace process,” the State Department said ahead of his visit.

He will focus on the “urgent need to mitigate the dire humanitarian and economic crises facing Yemenis.”

“It is imperative that donors, especially regional donors, provide additional funding and that all parties to the conflict take steps to improve humanitarian access and address Yemen’s fuel crisis,” Wednesday’s statement from Washington read.

Washington’s renewed diplomatic efforts came after the election of President Joe Biden last year; however, one of his first foreign policy moves saw the Houthis removed from the terror blacklist. Additionally, the Biden administration lifted senior Houthi officials’ names off the Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) list.

Analysts say this emboldened the Houthis, which was evident by the group’s escalated offensive on Marib. They have also refused to meet with UN diplomats on multiple occasions and continue to launch bomb-laden drones and ballistic missiles at civilian targets in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

A recent report from the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said the Houthis doubled the number of attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia during the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

The report said Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah were the biggest providers of weapons and assistance to the group.

Read more: World leaders, ministers condemn Houthi attack on UAE, stand in solidarity

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