Peace talks resume in Yemen
Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi (C-back) delivers a speech to army commanders and local officials during a surprise visit to inspect troops in Yemen's loyalist-held eastern city of Marib, on July 10, 2016. (AFP/File)
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The UN-mediated negotiations aimed at resolving the conflict in Yemen have resumed in Kuwait City after a 15-day suspension.
Delegates form Yemen’s Houthi movement and Saudi-backed loyalists to the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, attended a ceremonial meeting on Saturday night in the presence of UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
The two sides are expected to get down to bargaining on Sunday despite Hadi’s threat to boycott the peace talks if the UN keeps insisting on a roadmap for the formation of a unity government.
The talks were suspended on June 29 after weeks of deadlock.
The UN envoy told Saturday’s meeting that the discussions would last for two weeks, warning that they may be Yemen’s last chance for peace.
“It’s time for decisive decisions that will prove your true intentions and national responsibilities to Yemenis,” he said in an address to the delegates.
The peace talks, which started in Kuwait City on April 21, were held against the backdrop of a shaky ceasefire that began in the conflict-ridden state at midnight on April 10.
Elsewhere in his comments, Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the negotiations would focus on strengthening the truce and “forming the military committees that will supervise the withdrawal and handover of weapons... and opening safe passages for humanitarian aid.”
The UN official further noted that he had held intensive talks in Sana’a, Riyadh and Muscat and met with many dignitaries over the settlement of the Yemen crisis over the past two weeks.
Yemen has seen almost daily military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March 2015, with internal sources putting the death toll at about 10,000. The Saudi military-led coalition was launched to crush the Houthi rebels and restore power to Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The Houthi Ansarullah fighters took state matters into their own hands after the resignation and escape of Hadi, which threw Yemen into a state of uncertainty and threatened a total security breakdown in the country, where an al-Qaeda affiliate is present.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material