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Sana’a Center Delegation Meets Policymakers in the US

اقرأ المحتوى باللغة العربية

A Sana’a Center delegation completed a policy tour to Washington DC and New York on March 14, where they met with US policymakers and UN member state representatives to discuss political and security developments in Yemen and the region.

The visits coincide with the US assessing the repercussions of designating the Houthis (Ansar Allah) a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Group. While some policymakers believe this reclassification will obstruct the peace process and worsen the humanitarian situation for Yemenis, others are pushing to have the Houthis listed as a fully-fledged terrorist organization. Throughout the two weeks, the Sana’a Center’s senior representatives discussed the broad range of options for approaching the unabated Houthi attacks in the Red Sea.

“Yemen is at a critical juncture, and it requires concerted efforts from the international community to address the escalating conflict,” said Sana’a Center Chairperson, Maged Al-Madhaji, while emphasizing the urgent need to consider local context and regional dynamics when adopting new approaches to the conflict in Yemen. “By engaging with policymakers in Washington, we hope to find more sustainable solutions and avoid negative repercussions for Yemen.”

Policy discussions were held with the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the US State Department, the Treasury, and US Special Envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking. Briefings were also held with representatives from UN Security Council member states, delegations from EU member states, multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, and US-based think tanks. The meetings covered topics including the UN-led peace process in Yemen, recent attacks on ships in the Red Sea, local proxies and armed groups, escalating regional tensions and their impact on the Yemeni crisis, the war economy and its ramifications, and the growing humanitarian crisis. The Sana’a Center’s team also met with leading figures from the Yemeni diaspora in New York to better understand the impact of the Houthi reclassification on Yemenis. Most Yemenis residing in the US regularly send money to family members in Yemen. Remittances constitute a significant part of the economy in Yemen, and millions of Yemenis depend on them for survival.

The three experts from the Sana’a Center spearheading these briefings included Maged Al-Madhaji, Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Sana’a Center, Osamah Al-Rawhani, Co-Executive Director for Policy and Partnerships, and Waleed Alhariri, Director of the Yemen International Forum.

Osamah Al-Rawhani underscored the importance of dialogue and collaboration, stating “Effective policy making demands informed decision-making. Through these meetings, we aimed to bridge knowledge gaps and move forward on a Yemeni-led path towards peace.”

Waleed Alhariri noted that “the developments around the Red Sea introduced new actors to the conflict in Yemen. Hence, for any prospects of peace to move forward, the situation in the Red Sea has to be factored in, and dealt with immediately.”

The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies remains dedicated to advancing dialogue, research, and analysis on Yemen.

The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies is an independent think tank that seeks to foster change through knowledge production, with a focus on Yemen and the surrounding region. The Center’s publications and programs, offered in Arabic and English, cover political, social, economic, and security developments, aiming to impact policy locally, regionally, and internationally.