Tim Lenderking began a visit to the Middle East with the aim of promoting peace in the Yemeni country

Bin Salman meets US envoy for Yemen to boost peace process

PHOTO/ Bandar Algaloud/Cortesía de la Corte Real saudí/Handout vía REUTERS - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met early Friday with US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, who has begun a visit to the region to push for a peace process and ceasefire in Yemen.

"The two sides reviewed during the meeting developments on Yemeni soil and joint efforts to reach a political solution to the Yemeni crisis," according to the official Saudi news agency SPA.

The agency gave no further details about Lenderking's visit to the Kingdom or his agenda for the coming days, during which he also plans to travel to Oman, a mediator in the conflict.

Atalayar_Bin Salman Yemen

The meeting was attended by Prince Khaled bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, deputy defence minister, Princess Rima bint Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi ambassador to the United States, as well as Prince Faisal bin Farhan, foreign minister, and the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Muhammad bin Saeed al-Jaber.

Lenderking's visit comes as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif also ends a tour that has taken him to Qatar, Iraq, Oman and Kuwait amid negotiations for the Vienna nuclear pact and as he seeks to ease the tone with arch-foe Saudi Arabia.

Last month Saudi Arabia proposed a truce to the Iranian-backed Shi'ite Houthi rebels, although since then violence on the ground on the frontline in Yemen's Marib province has escalated between the insurgents and forces of the internationally recognised Yemeni government, backed by Riyadh.

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Yemen has been embroiled in a bloody war since late 2014, when Houthi rebels conquered large parts of the west and north of the country, including the capital, Sana'a, from which they ousted the internationally recognised government of Abd Rabbuh Mansour al-Hadi.

The conflict escalated in 2015 with the intervention of Arab countries in support of al-Hadi to the point where the UN considers the situation in the country to be the greatest humanitarian tragedy on the planet, with around 80 per cent of its population in need of some form of assistance to meet their basic needs.

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