For the past year, Yemen has been in a state of limbo, its messy, regionalized conflict on hold but unresolved. And that’s unlikely to change—for the better, at least—soon. Even if Saudi Arabia and the Houthis agree to a formal cease-fire, the country will remain stuck in the liminal space of “no war, no peace” for some time to come.
Rather than signaling a definitive resolution of their broader conflict, Saudi Arabia and Iran’s agreement to reestablish diplomatic ties can be read as Riyadh’s response to what it sees as lukewarm support by the U.S. on countering Tehran. It is also a pragmatic move by China to safeguard its interests in the Middle East.