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HomeGeopolitical CompassArabian PeninsulaTalking to the Houthis: How Europeans Can Promote Peace in Yemen

Talking to the Houthis: How Europeans Can Promote Peace in Yemen

Authors: Raiman Al-Hamdani and Helen Lackner

Affiliation: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

Organization/Publisher: ECFR

Date/Place: October 14, 2020/Berlin

Type of Literature: Policy Brief 

Number of Pages: 31

Link:                           https://ecfr.eu/publication/talking_to_the_houthis_how_europeans_can_promote_peace_in_yemen/ 

Keywords: Houthis, Yemen, EU, Ansar Allah.

Brief:

This policy brief is directed to European policymakers to revise their policies towards Houthis (also called Ansar Allah) in Yemen, as the group is increasing in power and plays a dominant role in the country. By assessing their ideological development, financial resources, and mechanisms that Houthis use to control people, European policymakers can gain insights to deal with this group. More importantly, the EU should consider the implications of the growing of Houthis politically, strategically, and their ties with Iran. Based on that, instead of supporting the Saudi-led coalition that Houthis have demonstrated they could defeat, the EU members should play a parallel role. On the one hand, the EU members should engage in conditional negotiations with Houthis. On the other hand, the EU members should push back against the US and Saudi Arabia’s attempt of designating Houthis as terrorists. Taking the initiative to open negotiations with Houthis—and for them to be recognized internationally—and pushing them to sit with their regional and international opponents would make an end to the humanitarian crisis, and also de-escalate the war between them and neighboring countries. By this step, reforms could then be taken inside Yemen like investing in the education sector to stifle the Houthis’ ideological trend that urges for extremism and threatens the region. 

By: Imad Atoui, CIGA Research Associate

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