The US announced that it has formally canceled the draft resolution that the previous administration of President Donald Trump submitted to Congress regarding the inclusion of the Houthi group on the list of foreign terrorist organizations. President Joe Biden’s current administration argued that this step came in recognition of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen, and to assist the Yemeni people in accessing humanitarian aid.
The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said during a press statement that, starting February 16, or next Tuesday, the classifications of the previous administration of the “Ansar Allah” group– otherwise known as the Houthis–as a foreign terrorist organization, will be canceled, according to the immigration law and to Executive Order 13224, as amended.
Furthermore, Blinken ascribed the aim of taking this decision as a recognition of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen, as per the warnings from the UN the current administration has received as well as humanitarian organizations, and members of Congress– from both parties–stating that the designations could have a devastating impact on Yemenis’ access to basic commodities, such as food and fuel.
“The cancellations aim to ensure that the relevant US policies do not impede the assistance of those who are already suffering from the so-called worst humanitarian crisis in the world. We hope to focus on alleviating the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and see that the Yemeni parties also focus on engaging in dialogue,” he elaborated.
Moreover, the leaders of the Houthi “Ansar Allah” group are also subject to sanctions, as per the Executive Order 13611, namely Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, Abdul-Khaleq Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi and Abdullah Yahya Al-Hakim, due to their actions which threaten peace, security and stability in Yemen, Blinken emphasized.
The US Secretary of State stressed that the administration will continue to closely monitor both the group’s activities and its leaders, and are actively monitoring additional targets yet to be identified, particularly those responsible for explosive boat attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea, and unmanned missile attacks against Saudi Arabia.
For its part, the US will also continue to support the implementation of UN sanctions imposed on group members, will resume drawing attention to the group’s destabilizing activity, and will maintain pressure on the group to change its behavior.
Blinken added, “The US remains clear about Ansar Allah’s malicious acts and aggression, including controlling large areas of Yemen by force, attacking US partners in the Gulf, kidnapping and torturing US citizens and many of our allies, and diverting humanitarian aid.”
Unfortunately, the recent deadly attack on December 30, 2020 in Aden against the legitimate government in Yemen and the actions of “Ansar Allah” and their intransigence prolong this conflict and cause grave humanitarian costs.
With regard to US cooperation with the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia, Blinken emphasized that the US remains committed to helping its Gulf partners defend themselves against threats emanating from Yemen, many of which are being implemented with Iran’s support.
In addition, the US will also double its efforts, along with the UN and others, to end the war, confirming that there is no military solution to this conflict, and will urge all parties to work for a durable political solution, which is the only way to permanently end the humanitarian crisis that the Yemeni people are suffering from.