KUWAIT: Kuwait, acting upon a UN request, extended yesterday the hosting of the Yemeni talks for another week to end on Aug 7, a foreign ministry official said. Kuwait agreed to extend its host of talks due to “positive developments” between negotiators over the past two weeks, at end of which UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad tabled a document including principles of a compromise, the official said.
Ould Cheikh Ahmad, he added, then requested a one-week extension with hopes to reach a consensus agreement that restore security and stability in Yemen, thus ending the suffering of the Yemeni people. The UN request was coupled with hopes by brotherly and friendly countries that the extension lasts for one week, said the source. The one week will expire on Aug 7, noted the source, and Kuwait hopes the Yemeni parties reach a comprehensive and sustainable agreement. Kuwait has been hosting the Yemeni talks for more than 90 days.
Earlier yesterday, Ould Cheikh Ahmad yesterday met the delegations of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and the General People’s Congress (GPC) as part of the consultations on peace in Yemen. During the meeting with Ansarullah and the GPC, Ould Cheikh Ahmad discussed visions to resolve the crisis in Yemen. There have been expectations that the talks would focus on the movement’s decision on forming a presidential council to take over the reins in Yemen.
Following yesterday’s meetings, the UN envoy said he had handed the negotiating teams a worksheet on visions for the coming period with the prior target of concluding a solution in Yemen. The talks with the Yemeni parties focused on the envoy’s vision for an integrated and comprehensive solution to the crisis in Yemen, and a proposal for extending the Kuwait talks for a short period. Meanwhile, informed sources said that the Yemeni parties would each hold closed meetings to discuss the worksheet and form a stance towards it.
Officials with Yemen’s internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi told AP they were considering proposals to reconvene the talks, which have failed to bridge the gap with the rebels, in Oman. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief reporters. “There can be no more talks after the new coup,” delegation spokesman Mohammad Al-Emrani told AFP on Friday.
Ould Cheikh Ahmad was later expected to meet Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to acquaint him with developments of the Yemeni peace talks, and to discuss the proposal to extend negotiations. On July 20, Kuwait set a 15-day deadline for Yemeni parties to reach a peace agreement during the current UN-brokered negotiations. Indirect negotiations held in Kuwait since April have failed to make headway. Most of the discussions focused on the type of the government to run Yemen during a transition period.
On Thursday, the Houthi rebels and the General People’s Congress of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh jointly announced setting a 10-member “supreme political council”, a step described by the United Nations envoy to Yemen as jeopardizing peace talks in Kuwait. The job of the council will be to “manage state affairs politically, militarily, economically, administratively, socially and in security”, a statement said.
International ambassadors stationed in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, said they were concerned by the new alliance, calling it in a statement “not consistent with commitments and good faith in pursuing a peaceful resolution under the auspices of the UN.” The UN had urged all parties to engage positively and effectively in the Kuwait talks in order to reach a sustainable solution quickly. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and the ambassadors of the 18 nations backing peace in Yemen have also called for a resumption of peace talks in separate statements. They also condemned the formation of the council. – Agencies