Yemen’s peace talks to start in Sweden Dec. 4- British envoy

Yemen’s peace talks to start in Sweden Dec. 4- British envoy

Thursday, November 29, 2018 12:42 pm

United Nations headquarters

UN-sponsored peace talks between Yemen’s warring parties are expected to start on Dec. 4 in Sweden, the Britain’s envoy to Yemen said on Thursday.

This is as a result for Western allies press for an end to the war that has pushed the country to the verge of starvation.

The UN is trying to reconvene talks between the Saudi-backed government led by Abd-Rabbu Hadi and the Iranian-aligned Houthi group to agree a framework for peace and a transitional governing body.

A previous round in Geneva collapsed in September when the Houthis failed to show up.

“The Sweden consultations led by the UN envoy will take place next week,’’ Michael Aron, the Riyadh-based British Ambassador to Yemen, tweeted to the Houthis’ spokesman, Mohammed Abdusalam.

“I have booked my trip and looking forward to seeing you leading your delegation, the political solution is the way to move forward.’’

A member of Hadi’s delegation said on Wednesday that the talks were due to be held on Dec. 4, but that the date could change “depending on logistics’’.

Western powers, which provide arms and intelligence to the Saudi-led coalition, are now pressing for an end to the conflict.

Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy to Yemen, visited the Houthi-held capital Sanaa this week where he met with the group’s leaders.

The UN Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock, arrived in Sanaa on Thursday.

A spokeswoman declined to give an exact date for the talks.

“Preparations are ongoing as planned and we hope the consultations will convene in early December,” she said.

The last UN attempt to convene the warring parties collapsed after the Houthis asked for guarantees from the UN that their plane would not be inspected.

They also wanted to evacuate some of their wounded to Oman for treatment.

Saudi Arabia confirmed its willingness to evacuate 50 wounded Houthi fighters as a confidence-building measure, British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said.

The new peace efforts come as the war’s frontlines have seen a fragile de-escalation.

The Houthis said last week they were halting drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their Yemeni allies, responding to a demand from the UN.

However, the group’s Al Masirah TV said on Thursday the group fired a ballistic missile on the Saudi-bordering region of Najran.

The Saudi-led coalition halted its offensive on the port city of Hodeidah, although skirmishes continued on the outskirts.


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