Yemeni minister of information has slammed Saudi Arabia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir for “making dictates” regarding the future of the country.
“It is ludicrous that a being like Jubeir is seeking to make up for the defeats and the obliteration of Saudi power at the hands of the heroic Yemeni forces in the past five years [by making such comments],” said Dhaif-Allah al-Shami in a tweet on Friday.
“The Yemenis have not made their sacrifices to end up having people like him make dictates [for the country],” he added.
Earlier on Friday, Jubeir had said that Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement was to blame for starting the war in Yemen.
“The Houthis are the ones who started the war, not us,” he said while speaking at the Mediterranean Dialogue Conference in Rome.
Speaking about the future of the country, Jubeir said that his country supported the “legitimate government in Yemen” in reference to the rule of former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi which Riyadh seeks to re-establish in the country.
Saudi Arabia, assisted by a number of its regional allies, originally launched a deadly campaign against Yemen in March 2015 with the goal of bringing the former president to power and crushing Ansarullah.
Yemeni forces have, however, put up a stiff resistance, halting Saudi-led advances and striking deep into the oil-rich kingdom, notably launching a devastating raid on Saudi oil facilities in September.
Riyadh’s shifting tone in Yemen
During his remarks on Friday, the Saudi minister said that “all Yemenis, including the Houthis, have a role in the future of Yemen,” marking a significant shift from Riyadh’s previously announced objectives in invading the country and defeating the Houthis.
Saudi Arabia supports “the creation of new institutions that can be representative of all Yemenis,” he added.
Observers have noted that Saudi Arabia has gradually softened its tone against Ansarullah following the September attack on Saudi oil facilities and a string of major Yemeni ground victories in recent months.
Fearing a long-lasting quagmire in Yemen, recent reports show that Riyadh has been forced to seek a negotiated end to the conflict through discussions with the Houthis.
Saudi Arabia’s tacit acknowledgement of the defeat of its previously announced objective of crushing Ansarullah comes as the kingdom has been gradually abandoned by its allied partners taking part in the Saudi-led operation.
Earlier this year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Riyadh’s most influential partner in the war, was reported to have withdrawn most of its troops from Yemen.
UAE officials have reached the conclusion that the war has become “unwinnable” and that the Houthis will eventually “have a role in the future in Yemen”, reports said.
On Thursday, Sudan’s new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok also announced his intention to put an end to the participation of Sudanese troops in the Saudi-led campaign.