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Houthis head for Yemen peace talks, two days later than planned

Houthis head for Yemen peace talks, two days later than planned

KUWAIT: Negotiators from Yemen´s Houthi group and their allies left the capital Sanaa on Wednesday for delayed peace talks in Kuwait, Yemeni airport sources said, after a dispute over a shaky ceasefire was resolved.

UN-backed talks to end the year-long war were meant to start on Monday but representatives of the Iran-allied Houthi group and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh did not turn up.

They accused the Yemeni government and its military allies led by Saudi Arabia of violating a temporary ceasefire, including with air strikes that had killed at least two

They also said the agenda of the Kuwait meeting had been altered without consulting them.

Mahdi al-Mashat, a senior Houthi official, said on Tuesday his group had received assurances that the ceasefire would be upheld and the agenda would “reflect the issues that are likely to lead to peaceful solutions to end the status quo”.

The talks´ delay prompted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the five permanent Security Council members to intervene.

An aide to UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the talks could begin later on Wednesday if the negotiators arrived early enough.

Sources at Sanaa airport said 14 delegates representing the Houthi´s Ansarullah group and Saleh´s General People´s Congress (GPC), were seen boarding an Omani plane.

They were expected to change planes in Muscat before continuing on to Kuwait, where delegates from President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi´s government have been waiting since earlier this week for the talks to start.

“We confirm that we will leave for Kuwait, carrying all the worries, wounds, aspirations and hopes of the great Yemeni people,” Yahya Duwaid, a representative of Saleh´s GPC party, said on the group´s website.

The talks to end the war that has killed at least 6,200 people and caused a humanitarian crisis, are expected to focus on creating a more inclusive government and restoring state authority over the country, which is now divided between the Houthis and the President Hadi´s administration.

Courtesy : TheNews



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