As we all know the history of the Houthi group, we believe that when they engage in peaceful dialogue and negotiations in the search for a political solution in Yemen, it is not because of their patriotism or because they have recovered their senses or that their conscience has suddenly awakened.
It is instead due to two main reasons. The first is the huge military pressure applied by Yemeni forces supported by coalition forces to support legitimacy.
Second, and most importantly, the negotiations have guaranteed that the Houthis have transformed from an outlaw militia, as they were classified before, into a political party that is recognized internationally. This is a huge win for them and their plan B, as it means that if they cannot control Yemen, then there is no problem in becoming the second party and part of the equation for the political future of Yemen.
It was important for the Houthis to agree to the Sweden talks in order to show themselves to the whole world as an important political entity that is keen on providing peace in Yemen and at the same time on achieving many political gains.
It was important for the Houthis to agree to the Sweden talks in order to show themselves to the whole world as an important political entity that is keen on providing peaceHamoud Abu Taleb
A good sign
Despite all that, any hope of saving the Yemeni people, as it was agreed in the Sweden talks, is welcomed and is a good sign.
We, as people who are watching these talks, cannot feel what the Yemeni people who are living in pain, starvation and suffering are feeling. In order for Yemenis to feel that there is any hope for peace, the parties that sponsored the solution should not divide it even more, as happened in round one of the talks.
Round one focused on Hodeidah and its seaport. The talks will later discuss the city of Taiz and the case of the capital city Sana’a has been postponed indefinitely.
The many divisions in the solution will only diminish the hopes of the people and provide more room for the Houthis to maneuver and give them grounds for breaking the ceasefire. If that happens then the Yemeni people will pay the ultimate price and not those who flew to Sweden on private jets and stayed in luxury hotels.
This article was first published in Saudi Gazette.
Hamoud Abu Taleb is a Saudi columnist who writes frequently on current affairs in the Gulf and the Middle East.