As peace talks are approaching, the Senate is preparing a vote that force President Trump to withdraw US military support for the Saudi-led coalition on Yemen, a four years conflict that has triggered the worst humanitarian crisis and brought the impoverished state into the brink of famine.
Senator Sanders stressed his intention of pushing a vote that will end US involvement in Yemen, where it has been supporting Saudi Arabia, UAE, and their alliances in a military campaign on Yemen.
A few days ago, Sanders said: “this week I will go to the floor of the United States Senate [to force the vote],” revealed The Hill on Tuesday.
“Despite Trump’s venal support for the Saudi regime, I am confident that we now stand an excellent chance to win this vote which I plan on bringing back to the Senate floor this week,” added Sanders.
It was confirmed by a spokesman of the senator that the vote will be discussed on Wednesday or Thursday.
“No question, we have more support than we have had before,” Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont and the legislation’s author, said in an interview. “The American people and members of Congress are learning about the brutality and dishonesty of the Saudi administration based on their murder of Khashoggi.”
Before the Senate takes up that measure, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alongside Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will hand over a classified briefing on Wednesday to senators that explain the situation of Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi’s murder. That closed-door briefing could turn contentious, with lawmakers demanding the Trump administration take more aggressive action against Saudi Arabia for its role in the Washington Post columnist’s death.
This was not the first time the Senate has voted on a similar resolution, which was brought up last March and called for ending US involvement in Yemen. However, the resolution, which was proposed by Sanders and Republican Senator Mike Lee, was blocked by a 55-strong vote despite gaining 44 favorable votes.
The new vote will further increase pressure on US relations with the Saudi regime, as the Senate has been exploring different means to punish the Saudi government in the past weeks.
“There’s got to be a price to pay for what has happened,” said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He said unless the two Cabinet secretaries spell out a more forceful response to Khashoggi’s death, he may vote in favor of ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen – a step he has opposed in the past.
“This unauthorized, unconstitutional war … is not something we ought to be fighting,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. Lee introduced the Yemen resolution with liberal Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut.
“It has exposed the Saudi government to be a brutal, despotic regime which will do anything to anybody to maintain its influence and power,” Sanders told USA TODAY. Sanders said Khashoggi’s death has won him additional “yes” votes on the Yemen resolution, though he declined to say how many or identify the lawmakers.
The European Union said late on Tuesday that more than three years of hostilities have exhausted Yemen and created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, stressing that It is time to push for an end to the war.
This came in a statement by the spokesman for the European Union, on efforts to resume political talks to end the war in Yemen.
The peace efforts of the United Nations Special Envoy, Martin Griffith, currently have the firm support of the European Union to achieve its goal.
This was the summary of the debate on Yemen, which took place during the last meeting of the Council on Foreign Affairs and a message to convey to the regional activists for the latest consultations.
The EU calls upon the warring parties to urgently halt any de-escalation in order to create room for negotiations. ”We reaffirm Mr. Griffiths’ calls in this regard and will continue to actively participate in providing the necessary support to Mr. Griffith and his office when needed.”
In a related context, the EU has adopted a € 30 million program to support vulnerable communities suffering from the effects of displacement in Yemen.
According to the statement, the total development assistance to Yemen in 2018 reached 71 million euros, pointing out that this long-term support aims to preserve the social fabric and create more opportunities to live and enhance food security and nutrition.
The Saudi regime and its allies launched a deadly campaign against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the ousted country’s former Riyadh-allied regime and crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The Western-backed imposed war, which has so far failed to achieve its stated goals, has, however, constrained humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to the import-dependent state, leading to a mass cholera outbreak and starvation from famine.
The international non-governmental organization Save the Children released a report last week, claiming that an estimated 85,000 children under five may have starved to death in Yemen since 2015.