Yemen peace talks slated to begin despite threat of Hadi boycott

Published July 16th, 2016 - 06:00 GMT
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed at an earlier peace talk in Kuwait. (AFP/File)
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed at an earlier peace talk in Kuwait. (AFP/File)

The United Nations says the peace talks aimed at resolving the conflict in Yemen have been delayed and are scheduled to resume on Saturday, despite threats by the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, to boycott the negotiations.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed headed to Saudi Arabia Friday to hold talks with Hadi, apparently to convince him to attend the negotiations.

"We will see whether we can get both delegations so that we can get the talks started," said Farhan Haq, a UN spokesman, on Friday.

"If there is any further delay, we can let you know at that time, but right now what we are anticipating is a start tomorrow."

The Yemeni national delegation has already arrived in Kuwait to participate in the fresh round of talks.

The delegation headed to Kuwait after a day-long stop in Oman during which they met Ould Sheikh Ahmed and Oman’s Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi.

The delegation’s media adviser, Ahmad Ghilan, had said in a text message, "We are committed to the time" for the resumption of negotiations and "to everything we had (previously) agreed on."

On July 10, Hadi warned that he would pull out of the ongoing negotiations if the UN keeps insisting on a roadmap for the formation of a unity government.

Talks between Hadi representatives and delegates representing the Houthi Ansarullah movement and allies began in Kuwait City on April 21. The two sides have managed to agree on some proposals, including how to continue with the exchange of prisoners, but some stumbling blocks remain, marring efforts for a permanent solution to the conflict.

Hadi had earlier said he will not tolerate Houthis as part of any future government, reiterating that the Ansarullah fighters must withdraw from the cities they control and give up their arms. The Houthis say they will begin to withdraw if someone other than Hadi takes on as the president to manage the transition in Yemen.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the original.

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