According to some Arab media, a small airplane that was sent by the UN to carry the Houthi-Army delegations to the Geneva talks failed to do so because of mutual suspicion. The Houthis and Saleh delegation got suspicious when told the UN plane needed to land for refueling at Jazan (southern Saudi Arabia). They worried the Saudis might grab and take hostage some of the top delegates on any excuse (this won’t be the first time). Especially since there are ‘rumors’ that Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi, a top leader of the movement may head their delegation. The Saudis now force all sanctioned airplanes heading for or taking off at blockaded Sanaa to land at Jazan.
Later Arab reports claimed the Houthi delegation flew through Muscat, Oman, since they only trust the Omanis among all GCC Gulf states. Maybe not quite so: as of Monday there were no Houthi or Yemeni Army delegations in Geneva. Other Arab sources claimed the Houthi jet is stuck in Djibouti because the Egyptian government has denied them the right to overfly Egypt to Europe. The Sisi regime is apparently trying to do their Saudi creditors a favor, except that the Saudis may need this conference more than their Yemeni opponents do.
So, the Saudis and the Hadi rump cabinet are re-doing their futile Riyadh
conference monologue of two weeks ago, this time in Geneva with some UN bureaucrats in attendance. Again, no Houthi or Saleh or Army representatives. Again, Gone With the Wind without Rhett or Scarlett, as I opined once. I also expressed a more ‘visual’ (almost adult) description of the Riyadh monologue right here.
It looks more and more that the fate of what is left of bombed-out Yemen will be determined on the ground in Yemen. Not from the air, not in Geneva or Washington or Riyadh or Tehran. I could have told them that months ago. In fact I did, I did, more than once.
(P.S.: I still think if the Saudis want to get out of this quagmire, then they should—> do this).
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum