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US Ambassador in Yemen to Asharq Al-Awsat: Houthis Clearly Do not Want Peace

US Ambassador in Yemen to Asharq Al-Awsat: Houthis Clearly Do not Want Peace

Monday, 10 September, 2018 - 05:30
Houthi supporters in Yemen. (Reuters)
Riyadh – Abdel Hadi Al Habtoor
US Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Toler said that it was clear that the Iran-backed Houthis do not want to abandon the preconditions they set ahead of their participation in the peace consultations in Geneva last week.

This ultimately wasted a chance to salvage the situation in Yemen and give the people some hope, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The Houthis failed to attend the consultations that were sponsored by the United Nations in the Swiss city.

Moreover, Toler revealed that UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths had proposed to the Houthis that they be provided their own plane that would transfer them from Sanaa to Geneva and back.

The conditions they imposed, however, put into question their seriousness over the political solution, he added.

Despite the setbacks, the ambassador believes that the Geneva consultations were not a failure.

What happened last week was simply the first round of consultations that were aimed at understanding the way each rival party wants to communicate with the other, he explained.

Griffiths exerted all possible efforts to arrange for the Houthis to travel to Geneva, but the conditions they set were meaningless and raise questions over their commitment to the political solution, he stated.

Meanwhile, the consultations Griffiths held with the legitimate government delegation in Geneva achieved progress in the prisoner exchange file.

A concerned committee will be formed in order to address the issue, he revealed.

Furthermore, Toler hoped to see discussions in the near future over the possibility of increasing internal flights in Yemen.

He also hoped to witness progress in the immediate future in the central bank’s efforts to stabilize the Yemeni currency.

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