President Biden’s admin is planning to revoke the designation of Yemen’s Houthis which is a terrorist group, citing the need to mitigate one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.
Former President Donald Trump’s admin had branded the Iranian-backed Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization, a move that limited the provision of aid to the Yemeni people, who have suffered through a civil war and famine.
A senior State Department official confirmed the move Friday after members of Congress were notified of the administration’s plans. The Houthis, have targeted civilians and kidnapped Americans.
“Our action is due entirely to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation from the prior administration, which the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have since made clear would accelerate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” the official said.
The United Nations describes Yemen as the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, with 80% of its people in need.
“We welcome the stated intention by the U.S. administration to revoke the designation as it will provide profound relief to millions of Yemenis who rely on humanitarian assistance and commercial imports to meet their basic survival needs,” United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated.
Former United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blacklisted the Houthis on Jan. 19 – a day before Joe Biden took office.
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut praised the idea of the Biden admins move, saying, “The designation did not impact the Houthis in any practical way, but it stopped food and other critical aid from being delivered inside Yemen and would have prevented effective political negotiation.”
Sources: Reuters, ABC, The Hill, Daily Caller, and PBS; Photo: timesofisrael.com