From Foreign Policy:
The Yemen embassy in the US sent a letter to senate staff asking them not to attend an event organized by Yemeni activists Yemen Peace Project. In the letter (which is an unusual move by an embassy), the embassy claims that the event supports and has ties to the Iran-backed Houthi movement and that the US Senate is not the right place to host such an event.
The Yemen Peace Project is disappointed in the letter. They say that they are only trying to bring awareness to the conflict and want to help senate staffers learn more about Yemen.
One of the scheduled speakers at the event is a human rights activist who reports to the United Nations and another an analyst who writes about Yemeni politics and women’s issues.
But the letter from the Yemeni embassy could well backfire, as senators and their aides tend to resent attempts to stifle open debate and discussion on foreign policy. “In general, staff have not taken kindly to this sort of engagement and have pushed back that in a democracy, as long as groups are not advocating violence, they are entitled to express their views,” one staffer told Foreign Policy.
According to Foreign Policy, it says that the embassy and its ousted President Hadi backed government feels emboldened by the Trump administration’s tough stance on Iran and possibility of increasing military support for the Saudi-led coalition allied with the Hadi government.