KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has welcomed a Saudi initiative to end the Yemen war, saying it is ready to assist the Kingdom in achieving lasting peace, security and stability.
Saudi Arabia presented a new peace initiative on Monday to bring peace to Yemen, deliver aid to its people and end the country’s six-year war.
The plan calls for a nationwide ceasefire supervised by the UN, the reopening of Sanaa airport, and fuel and food imports through Hodeidah port, both of which are controlled by Houthi militia.
The initiative was immediately supported by Yemen’s government, which blamed the militia for the failure of previous initiatives. The plan was also welcomed by the UN, US, EU, Gulf Cooperation Council countries and most Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan and Malaysia.
“Malaysia commends the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its latest initiative to end the conflict and restart the political process in Yemen. The initiative is a significant step forward for Yemen,” the Malaysian foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Southeast Asian nation also offered support for the Saudi peace efforts.
“We stand ready to work closely with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the international community toward this goal for lasting peace, security and stability in Yemen,” the Malaysian ministry said.
Geostrategy expert Prof. Azmi Hassan of the Technology University of Malaysia told Arab News on Thursday it was natural for Malaysia to support the initiative, given its cordial ties with Riyadh, not only in defense but also the economy and people-to-people relations.
“When Riyadh proposed the initiative to end the war in Yemen, it is natural for Malaysia to support the initiative and support Riyadh in this case,” he said.
“Malaysia, as always, will support any initiative that provides peace in a conflict region, an initiative backed by UN.”
The Yemen conflict began when Houthi militia, backed by Iran, ousted the government from power in the capital Sanaa in 2014.
Since a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states launched a military operation to restore the internationally recognized government in 2015, the Houthis have been firing missiles and drones at the Kingdom’s energy and security and civilian infrastructure. The attacks have been widely condemned.