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Advanced plans by Saudi Arabia to strike a peace deal with the Houthi rebels in Yemen are being jeopardised by Houthi attacks on Israel and this week’s seizure of an Israeli-linked commercial vessel in the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia hopes it can maintain a firewall between the Yemen peace talks and the Houthis’ attacks on Israel, but in London and Washington there is pressure to redesignate the Houthis as a terrorist organisation, which would threaten any deal.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/24/houthi-attacks-on-israel-jeopardise-saudi-peace-efforts-in-yemen

How does the U.S. redesignating the Houthis as a terrorist group threaten a peace deal between Yemen and the Houthis? How does it threaten the peace deal if Yemen itself won't necessarily follow through with U.S. decision to designate it as a terrorist group? The U.S. and London are third parties to the Yemen civil war, so how would it threaten a peace deal between the two? Yemen was supported by the U.S. but the U.S. was never a belligerent to the Yemeni civil war.

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  • How does it threaten the peace deal if Yemen itself won't necessarily follow through with U.S. decision to designate it as a terrorist group? The pressure won't be on Yemen but the Saudis who are a close ally of the US. If the Saudis refuse to follow the US lead any future support on this (and perhaps their military alliance) will be in question.
    – sfxedit
    Nov 25, 2023 at 14:56
  • @sfxedit I get the impression the US would like Saudi Arabia to settle the issue in Yemen. The hypothesis that the US would oppose peace seems to require some actual evidence.
    – User65535
    Nov 25, 2023 at 16:01
  • @User65535 As KSA is a trusted ally of the US, yes, the US would prefer that KSA hammer out some peace deal. At the same time, the US knows that KSA really won't care about Houthis attacking Israel who is also a close ally of the US. Attacking the Houthis in such circumstances isn't an opposition to the peace deal but more likely a reconsideration whether a peace deal with such an actor may create future problem (after the peace deal, why would KSA give a damn if Yemen wants to fight Israel or or anyone else, as long as it doesn't bother KSA. The US unfortunately has to care about this). (1/2)
    – sfxedit
    Nov 25, 2023 at 16:23
  • There are also reports that the US is willing to launch an attack on Houthi military sites in and around Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, as well as its port operations room - KSA is a US ally. If the US attacks them, the other party will conclude that it being done on behest of KSA (and maybe even Israel). In such cases, it will be "Bye bye peace deal". (2/2)
    – sfxedit
    Nov 25, 2023 at 16:24
  • I think the key point here is that peace deal between Yemenis and the Houthis is NOT just between Yemenis and the Houthis.
    – C.F.G
    Dec 2, 2023 at 9:52

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