The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, met with the delegation of the Government of Yemen, headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Khaled al Yamani Thursday in Geneva in a bid to reactivate the peace process.
They discussed the expectations of these consultations and relevant issues to the peace process, in particular Confidence Building Measures, a UN spokesman said, adding that the Special Envoy acknowledged the efforts made by the Government of Yemen and the Coalition to facilitate the convening of these consultations.
The meeting was held at the start of what were due to be the first peace talks involving both warring parties to be held in two years.
Yet, according to news reports, the Houthi delegation was either unable or unwilling to leave the capital Sana’a to attend the consultations, and the Government has reportedly given a 24-hour deadline for them to arrive in the Swiss capital.
The Special Envoy is mindful of the challenges associated with bringing the parties together to Geneva, bearing in mind that they haven’t met for two years.
He was hopeful to see Sana’a Delegation present to expedite the political process.
Mr. Griffiths vowed to “overcome obstacles” which have so far prevented the Houthi rebel delegation from showing up, and to continue to make efforts to overcome obstacles to allow the consultations to go forward.
Fighting between the two sides, which escalated in 2015, has caused a humanitarian crisis, putting nearly eight million people on the edge of starvation, sparking the world’s worst cholera epidemic and leaving the vast majority of Yemenis in need of aid.
The Special Envoy who reiterated the need to reach an inclusive political solution to the conflict in Yemen, said Yemeni people who live under dire humanitarian, economic and security conditions hope for a quick settlement of the conflict.