UN peace envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed yesterday started separate talks with Yemen’s warring factions in a bid to end the conflict lasting more than a year in the impoverished country.
The Mauritanian diplomat met with a delegation from the rebel Houthis and their allies linked to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Kuwait City yesterday, a day after the UN-sponsored peace talks on Yemen resumed after a two-week suspension, Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA reported.
The talks are focusing on political, security and humanitarian issues in Yemen, the agency added without giving details.
The UN envoy has called on the parties involved in the peace consultations to take decisive decisions to authenticate their intentions for resolving the Yemeni crisis.
Cheikh Ahmed, addressing the session of resumed consultations among the parties, said the groups should substantiate good intentions for settling the crisis according to the UN Security Council Resolution 2216, other relevant resolutions, the GCC initiative and outcome of the national dialogue.
Expressing gratitude to the parties for coming anew to the negotiating table, the UN envoy confirmed that the new round of talks, expected for another two weeks, would focus on “maintaining cessation of combat actions in a full and comprehensive manner, activate the pacification committee and other commissions namely the military one tasked with overseeing the (fighters’) withdrawal, arms handover and opening safe passages for dispatch of humanitarian aid”.
Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdulmalak al-Mikhlafi stated that the Yemeni government is extending hands of peace for all Yemeni parties to restore security and stability and stop bloodshed in the country.
In a speech at the first meeting of the negotiating teams after the resumption of talks on Saturday, al-Mikhlafi said that Yemen’s political leadership, represented in the Yemeni President, Prime Minister and pro-legitimacy political parties, are committed to peace, Kuwait’s official news agency (KUNA) reported.
The political leadership has instructed the negotiating team to partake in the “last chance” peace talks according to the agreed main reference points including the UN resolutions, the Gulf initiative and its mechanisms as well as the outcome of national dialogue, he said.