Ye­men peace ne­go­ti­a­tions stalled

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Ye­men’s Shia rebels backed out of UN-bro­kered peace talks just hours be­fore the ne­go­ti­a­tions were to start yes­ter­day in Kuwait, de­mand­ing an im­me­di­ate halt to airstrikes by the Saudi-led coali­tion that has waged a year-long war against them, of­fi­cials said.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear if the ne­go­ti­a­tions were com­pletely scut­tled. Ac­cord­ing to two me­dia of­fi­cials linked to the Houthis, rebel rep­re­sen­ta­tives have de­layed their trip to Kuwait.

The rebel del­e­ga­tion would not go un­less there is a “full halt to the airstrikes” by the Saudiled coali­tion, the two of­fi­cials told The As­so­ci­ated Press, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause they were not au­tho­rised to talk to re­porters.

A state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day af­ter­noon on be­half of the UN en­voy to Ye­men, Is­mail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, de­scribed the Kuwait talks as “de­layed” and gave no de­tails on when they might re­sume.

“We are work­ing to over­come the lat­est chal- lenges and ask the del­e­ga­tions to show good faith, par­tic­i­pate in the talks in or­der to reach a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion to the cri­sis in Ye­men,” he said. “The next few hours are cru­cial. We call on the par­ties to take their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties se­ri­ously and agree on com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tions.”

The Kuwait talks are aimed at find­ing ways to re­solve the year-long con­flict be­tween Ye­men’s in­ter­na­tion­ally- recog­nised govern­ment, backed by the coali­tion, and the Houthis and their al­lies.

Ac­cord­ing to Ab­del­Rah­man Al Ah­noumi, a Houthi me­dia of­fi­cial, the Houthis are not go­ing to Kuwait un­less there is a “full sus­pen­sion” of airstrikes in ac­cor­dance to the cease-fire deal signed ear­lier this month.

The Houthis seized the cap­i­tal, Sanaa, in Septem­ber 2014 and ex­pelled the govern­ment led by Pres­i­dent Abed Rabbo Man­sour Hadi, who flew to Saudi Ara­bia. The govern­ment has since en­listed the help of the coali­tion and re­taken most of the south­ern re­gion.

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