The US “slammed the brakes on” the UN Security Council resolution that calls for a limited ceasefire and humanitarian aid in Yemen over concerns about angering Saudi Arabia, according to two anonymous sources cited by the CNN.
The US “has slammed the brakes on” the resolution, saying that “we can’t support a resolution at the moment,” according to one of the sources who is reportedly familiar with the negotiations.
The source also claimed that this decision goes directly in spite of what US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley signaled in the UN weeks ago.
There has been no official comment on the matter by the White House. It referred questions to the US mission to the UN, which in turn also refused to comment.
The draft resolution is already seen by many human rights groups as extremely watered-down. Expectedly, after all it was drafted by the UK, another undeniable ally and large weapon exporter to Saudi Arabia. It basically calls for a ceasefire only in Hudaydah, the principal Red Sea port through which some 80 per cent of humanitarian aid flows.
Overall the resolution is criticizes the Houthi, who are backed by Iran, and in fact compliments Saudi action.
CNN reported earlier this month that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, “threw a fit” when presented with an early draft of the document, leading to a delay and further discussions among Western allies on the matter.
According to anonymous sources, US concerns stem from the fact that if the resolution passed the Saudi-led side or the Houthi side in the conflict would fail to come to the negotiation table.
On October 31st, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and State Secretary Mike Pompeo called for a ceasefire in Yemen “in the next 30 days.” If the rumors of “slamming the brakes” are true, that means that US support for Saudi Arabia reigns supreme.
On November 21st, Mattis said that peace talks would take place in Sweden, even as experts cautioned that there’s no guarantee Saudi Arabia will take the steps needed for that to happen.
On November 22nd, US President Donald Trump, during a thanksgiving call to the troops once more indicated that the US would not undertake strong action against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Kingdom for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Trump of turning a blind eye to the murder on the following day.
So far, in regard to the Khashoggi murder the US has sanctioned several individuals. Germany banned all weapons exports, even ones that were negotiated in the past, and also sanctioned several Saudi citizens. Finland and Denmark also banned weapons sales to the Kingdom. However, 87% of Saudi weapon purchases are from the US, UK and France, who have undertaken no significant action.
It is also unlikely that the newest controversy of Saudi Arabia purchasing spyware from an Israeli company to track and “deal” with dissidents will also have any effect on the US stance towards the Kingdom. After all, Israel is also a key US ally in the Middle East.