Muscat: US President Joe Biden praised the pivotal role played by the Sultanate of Oman, led by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik in securing the extension of the armistice in Yemen for two more months.
The White House statement valued the pivotal role of the Sultanate of Oman through the intensive contacts that took place between Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, his American counterpart Tony Blinken and the Yemeni parties, which contributed to the decision to extend.
"We welcome the truce extension in Yemen, which brings respite from conflict to millions and saves lives - the longest period of calm since the war began. We appreciate the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen and our Special Envoy's tireless efforts," Blinken said in a statement.
"Spoke with Omani Foreign Minister @badralbusaidi to thank Oman for helping to secure the furlough of US citizen Morad Tahbaz in Iran. I reiterated the important role Oman plays in Yemen’s peace process and I thanked Oman for its diplomatic efforts in the region," he added.
The full statement of the US President
I welcome today’s announcement of an extension of the truce in the Yemen conflict. This truce, now going on five months, has brought a period of unprecedented calm in Yemen, saving thousands of lives and bringing tangible relief for countless Yemenis. I want to recognize the hard work of my Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, who – working hand in hand with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg – played a major role in this achievement.
Extending the truce in Yemen and reaching an ultimate resolution to the conflict was also a main topic of discussion during my recent visit to Saudi Arabia. The King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia confirmed to me their full commitment to extending the truce. They and their team demonstrated that commitment over the course of discussions in recent weeks. I thank them for that.
Oman also played a central role in securing this extension of the truce, and we’re grateful for the role played by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik as a mediator and for his team as an interlocutor between all the parties to the conflict. My Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, has also helped advance the truce, including calls this weekend with his Omani counterpart, and with the President of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Alimi. We are grateful for their cooperation and commitment to the truce process.
As I stated last time the truce was extended, however, I recognize that a truce, while an important step and essential to saving lives, is not enough in the long run. Thus, we urge the Yemeni parties to seize this opportunity to work constructively under UN auspices to reach an inclusive, comprehensive agreement that includes steps to improve freedom of movement and expanded salary payments, and that paves the way for a durable, Yemeni-led resolution to the conflict.
It is now critical that all parties uphold their commitments under the UN-brokered truce and work towards peace. The Yemeni Government must continue to support flights to more destinations to and from Sana’a, and facilitate the flow of goods through Hudaydah port, as agreed under the terms of the truce. Advancing the peace process will require courage and dedication from all sides. The United States will remain committed and engaged in efforts to advance peace in Yemen and to bring relief to the Yemeni people.