A Saudi delegation to Yemen’s Houthi capital Sanaa has renewed hopes of finally bringing a semblance of stability to the war-torn state, and ending the Iran-backed group’s blockade on the Bir Ali and Ash Shihr oil export terminals which has deprived Yemen of key revenues. The Houthi threats and attacks (MEES, 28 October 2022 and MEES, 25 November 2022) have deterred tankers from loading and effectively taken the country’s financially vital exports to zero for nearly six months (MEES, 13 January).

The Houthis’ headline demand is for a share of oil revenues to cover salaries for state employees and fighters in their areas of control. Despite seizing vast swathes of territory since 2014, including the key Ras Isa oil export terminal, the Houthis have failed to gain control of Yemen’s oil-producing regions (see map). Instead, oil export revenues are being accrued by the Saudi-backed Yemeni government in Aden. (CONTINUED - 1767 WORDS)