Yemen: Houthis support U.N talks, exiled government silent

yemen-situation-mapU.N-led talks are to begin in Geneva on May 28 although the format of the talks is yet to be determined. The talks which are being described as U.N-facilitated discussions among Yemeni parties is expected to be the first major step that will assemble the different warring parties since the Saudi-led coalition began. The Houthis have already announced that they will be present but Hadi’s government continues to coy.

Yemen’s U.N. Ambassador Khaled Alyemany said Hadi’s government will send a senior official to Geneva, probably the vice president, but a top aide to the exiled president hinted that the government could be absent unless the Houthi’s withdraw from towns and cities, including Sanaa.

The leader of the Houthi Movement, Abdul-Malek al-Houthi, referred to the upcoming talks in Geneva as the “only solution” although he showed no sign of heeding to withdrawal calls as he called for new recruits and new training camps to boost their campaign.

U.N has estimated that at least 1,800 people have lost their lives and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged for an “inclusive, negotiated political settlement” to end the war in Yemen.

It seems as if the meeting is being supported by Saudi Arabia, key supporter of the Hadi government, after its ambassador to the U.N Abdallah Al-Moualimi argued that “there is no place for Iran in the consultations in Geneva” because “they have not been playing a constructive role, and as such cannot be rewarded by having a seat at the table.”

Holding successful talks in Geneva will be a major boost to new U.N envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, after the Gulf States declared that only talks held in Saudi Arabia will be considered by the Gulf Cooperation Council and its members.

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