The US is trying to help the Yemeni government in fighting a war on terror by transferring $4.5 billion in oil revenue it receives from selling its assets to the Yemeni central bank, The Hill has learned.
The transfer will take place at the end of the month.
In the past, the US has transferred money from Saudi Arabia to Yemen, a move that has been widely criticized.
But the Trump administration has resisted calls for more international assistance, including from Saudi ally Israel, to help Yemen rebuild.
It has instead asked the Saudi-led coalition to take responsibility for rebuilding the economy and end its war on Yemen.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his top foreign policy adviser, Stephen Miller, traveled to Riyadh last week for the first time since the Saudi offensive began in March.
Tillerson met with the Saudi Crown Prince and foreign ministers to discuss Yemen and the coalition, which has been fighting a six-year-long war in the impoverished country.
The coalition has been accused of carrying out a brutal crackdown against protesters in Yemen.
Tillerson and Miller said they would “work to resolve this conflict diplomatically, peacefully and in a way that will protect the people of Yemen and all of Yemen,” according to a statement provided by the State Department.
“The United States will continue to provide the necessary resources to support the coalition and to facilitate the transfer of funds to Yemen to help restore stability in the country and prevent another conflict,” the statement said.
“It is critical that we work with the international community to address the underlying cause of Yemen’s war, the Houthi regime.”
Trump administration officials said the Saudi military’s bombing campaign has left Yemen at war for five years, and has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.
Tillerson said on Thursday that the Saudi government had to stop the airstrikes to restore stability and “to make sure that there is no civilian casualties.”
Yemenis have long been suspicious of the Saudi campaign and fear that they are being targeted by the United States and its allies in the region.
Yemen is a former British protectorate under the US that Saudi Arabia invaded in 1979 and has been a US ally ever since.
It is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East and home to some of the world’s poorest populations.
Yemen has been at war with Iran since 1979, when the Islamic Republic seized control of much of the country.
Saudi Arabia has been trying to keep Yemen stable since the Arab Spring protests erupted in 2011.
Tillerson called Yemen “one of the largest exporters of oil in the world.”
The Saudis say the sanctions against them are part of a wider campaign to undermine their authority in the oil-rich country.
Yemen, which was a US-allied country until the Arab uprisings, has been in a state of civil war since 2015.