At the end of a three-week trip to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar by U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, we have seen U.S. diplomatic efforts yield tangible results that improve the lives of Yemenis and advance peace. The United States supported the UN’s efforts to secure a two-month truce, which began on April 2 and provides immediate relief to Yemenis by easing the movement of people and goods, including fuel. In Special Envoy Lenderking’s subsequent engagements, he has urged the parties to adhere to the UN truce terms to pave the way for a viable, durable resolution to the conflict.
Over the past year, the Special Envoy has pressed for transparent, inclusive Yemeni-led efforts to reform the government of Yemen to ensure it meets the needs of all citizens and address their calls for justice, accountability, and redress for human rights violations and abuses. On April 7, we welcomed Yemen’s establishment of a Presidential Leadership Council, which we urge to advance these goals in partnership with Yemeni civil society and members of marginalized communities. We urge the Leadership Council to work closely with the Prime Minister and his government to strengthen basic services and economic stability as soon as possible, so that Yemenis can receive the tangible benefits of recent reforms.
During his trip, Special Envoy Lenderking continued his advocacy for additional humanitarian assistance to help close funding gaps that have reduced life-saving assistance for millions of Yemenis, as well as for additional economic assistance to address Yemen’s growing economic crisis. In this regard, we welcomed the pledge by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to each provide $1 billion in economic support for the Central Bank of Yemen, and Saudi Arabia’s pledge to provide $1 billion for development projects and fuel support as well as $300 million for the UN’s humanitarian response plan.
The Special Envoy concluded his trip by joining a UN-led mission to raise awareness about the threat posed by the derelict Safer oil tanker and raise funds for an emergency UN plan to avert the devastating regional economic, humanitarian, and environmental consequences of a spill. We commend those who have pledged financial support and encourage other donors to contribute to this new UN-coordinated plan to protect shipping, commerce, tourism, livelihoods, and coastal habitats across the Red Sea.
We must capitalize on this positive, unique momentum by securing a more lasting halt to fighting and a renewed, comprehensive peace process. Yemenis are expressing cautious optimism for the first time in years as a result of the constructive steps in recent weeks. All parties to the conflict must answer Yemenis’ demands for peace by choosing dialogue over destruction and cooperating with UN-led peace efforts. There is hard work ahead and the United States remains committed to supporting the people of Yemen’s aspirations for a more prosperous and stable future.