Yemen says rebels not serious at UN talks
Stockholm: A Yemeni government official said Saturday that Huthi rebels were “not serious” on finding common ground to end the devastating war, three days into UN-brokered talks in Sweden.
Nearly four years into a war that has pushed 14 million Yemenis to the brink of starvation, the Saudi-backed government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Huthi rebels, linked to Riyadh’s archrival Iran, are in the rural town of Rimbo for what UN officials expect will be a week of negotiations.
“Expectations stem from experience, and from experience I would say no, they are not serious,” said Rana Ghanem, a member of the government delegation to the talks.
“But our hope ... is that this will help alleviate the tension, and alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people,” said Ghanem, the only woman in either delegation.
The last round of talks in 2016 broke down in Kuwait after more than three months of negotiations.
A plan to host the warring parties in Geneva collapsed in September after the rebels refused to leave the capital Sanaa, citing safety concerns. Government representatives, rebel spokesmen and UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths have all said the talks are not aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict.