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US is ‘cautiously optimistic’ about situation in Yemen: Lenderking

The senior US diplomat slammed the Iran-backed Houthis for continuing to detain local US employees in Yemen.

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The US is firmly committed to reaching lasting peace in Yemen, a senior American diplomat said on Tuesday.

Speaking days after Yemeni sides agreed to extend a truce for another two months, US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking said the US was “cautiously optimistic” about the situation.

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Lenderking told reporters in a call that the truce was positive, but more work was needed. “We ask the parties to choose peace over war and destruction,” he said.

Houthis playing negative role

The US diplomat hit out at the Iran-backed Houthis for continuing to detain 13 Yemenis employed by the US and called for their immediate release. Lenderking offered his condolences to the family of Abdulhameed Al-Ajami, a retired USAID employee. Al-Ajami died while in Houthi detention earlier this year.

Lenderking also said that Iran had encouraged the Houthis to attack civilians in Saudi Arabia and trained and supported the Yemeni militia with deadly weapons.

Read more: Former US employee in Yemen dies under Houthi detention: State Department

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