Yemen: Government talks with Houthis fail

Published August 24th, 2014 - 11:43 GMT

A Yemeni official says the talks between a government delegation and Shia Houthis have failed following Houthis’ rejection of a draft proposal on forming a technocrat government.

Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi, the spokesman for the government’s negotiating team, said on Sunday that the Houthi fighters “rejected all the proposals presented to them,” and that the “negotiations in Sa’ada have failed.”

Sources say the proposal suggested forming a technocrat government within one month from the date of signing the draft document. It also includes an offer to set up an economic committee to review a bone of contention over the fuel subsidies in the country.

The delegation representing Yemeni President Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi had been holding negotiations with Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi in the northern city of Sa’ada since Thursday in an effort to persuade him to end the demonstrations organized by al-Huthi’s supporters.

Thousands of Houthi supporters have set up tents near the interior, telecommunications and electricity ministries in a side street that leads to the airport in Sana’a. The angry protesters had repeatedly said that they would not stop the ongoing protest rallies until their demands were met.

The protesters have accused the government of corruption and marginalizing the Shia community, demanding the resignation of the administration.

The Houthi movement played a key role in the popular revolution that forced former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years, stepped down in February 2012 under a US-backed power transfer deal in return for immunity after a year of mass street demonstrations demanding his ouster.

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