Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom is heading to the Middle East in an attempt to relaunch talks between Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the country’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom begins a tour of several Arab countries on Saturday in an attempt to mediate the Yemen crisis.
Yemen has been devastated by a five-year armed conflict between the government backed by the Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-backed Houthis. The conflict erupted after the Houthis ousted the government and seized power in late 2014.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Wallstrom "will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan between August 31 and September 4 to hold meetings on bilateral and regional issues with a focus on the Yemen crisis."
Wallstrom plans to meet with UN officials to discuss the situation in the region, the statement reads.
"I will talk to as many people as possible who can influence the situation," Wallstrom said on the eve of her tour, adding that Sweden "has the confidence of the parties" and should try to push the peace process forward.
Wallstrom stressed important adhere to the fragile agreement reached in Stockholm. "We feel a special responsibility. We have hosted the talks and contributed in different ways. It is our responsibility to try to ensure that this agreement is implemented," she said.
Yemen has been racked by a 4-year bloody conflictbetween the internationally-recognized Yemeni government's forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who ousted the government in 2014.
Parties to the 4-year war in Yemen, after 8-day peace talks in Sweden, reached on the 13th of last December an agreement providing for ceasefire in Hodeida and redeployment of both sides' forces, exchanging prisoners and alleviating blockade imposed by Houthis on Taiz.
But none of this has taken place so far, with both sides trading blames for trying to thwart the deal.