While the Gulf region heads toward a de-escalation, the war in Yemen has heated up. Coalition successes, led by the UAE sponsored “Giants” Brigades blunted the Houthi victories around Shabwa and Marib have introduced new factors into the balance of power. The war has also extended to a new battlefront with Houthi missile attacks on the UAE in retaliation for the coalition escalations. The Saudi-led coalition struck back with attacks that dramatically increased the ferocity of the air war, added to the civilian death toll and partly crippled internet access across the entire country.
As usual, Yemeni civilians continued to pay an even greater price in a war that destroyed the country’s economy and infrastructure. Yemeni society has fractured, the economy has collapsed, tens of thousands have died and the majority of Yemenis now face real threats of unprecedented levels of poverty and possibly large-scale starvation.
Until this sudden escalation, Yemenis had seen the first glimmers of peace. In March 2021, Baghdad hosted the first round of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran aiming to de-escalate the tension between the Gulf’s two pillars. These talks continue and many analysts expected Yemen that any agreement between Tehran and Riyadh would lead to a peace deal in Yemen and an end to missile attacks on Saudi Arabia. Instead, hostilities have not only escalated in Yemen but have spilled over into another country in the region.
What are the possibilities for de-escalation? How can the Yemeni parties restart peace talks? Do the American Envoy Timothy Linderking and the UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg now have the capability to push for a peace deal in the country? Does Iran have the capability to to force the Houthis to sit on the negotiations table without deal-killing pre-conditions?
To address these questions, discuss the possibility of de-escalation, future of the war and many other questions, the Forum is honored to host His Excellency Dr. Abu Bakr Al Qirbi, Former Foreign Minister for the State of Yemen.
Featured Speakers: Dr. Abu Bakr Al Qirbi and Ambassador Patrick Theros.
H.E. Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Yemen
Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi is the former Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is the longest-serving Foreign Minister of Yemen, occupying the post from 2001 to 2014. From 1982-1987, he was the Dean of the Medical School of Sana’a University. In 1993, he was appointed Yemeni Minister of Education. He has a background in medicine, and received degrees from the Universities Edinburgh, Liver- pool and London.
Ambassador Patrick Theros (moderator)
Strategic Advisor, Gulf International Forum
Ambassador Theros has held such positions as Political Advisor to the Commander in Chief, Central Command; Deputy Chief of Mission and Political officer in Amman; Charge D’affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi; Economic Counselor in Damascus; and U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar. In a career spanning almost 36 years, he also has served in diplomatic positions in Beirut, Managua, Dharan and Abu Dhabi, as well as in the Department of State. During that period, he earned four Superior Honor Awards. After retirement Ambassador Theros served as President of the U.S. Qatar Business Council in 2000-2017.