Yemeni Peace Talks May Happen Soon, Breakthrough in Hostage File

Yemeni Peace Talks May Happen Soon, Breakthrough in Hostage File

Friday, 16 November, 2018 - 08:45
The UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths will brief the Security Councile on November 16, 2018. Reuters
London – Badr Al Qahtani
A breakthrough in the issue involving war prisoners, Sanaa airport and civil servants pending salaries, will soon be announced, Western sources close to Yemeni consultations told Asharq Al-Awsat. Resolving those disputes will improve on confidence building between Yemen’s two warring parties.

Since 2014, Iran-backed Houthi militias have been leading a nationwide coup against the freely-elected government.

The United Nations special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, after a failed September attempt for rebooting peace talks, is determined to salvage gained momentum and ensure that negotiations take place before the end of 2018.

The last round in September collapsed when the Houthis did not show up. Griffiths hopes to convene talks before the end of the year to agree a framework for peace under a transitional government.

Sweden is preparing to host consultations when the parties “are ready to talk”, said a source familiar with the matter.

“I would describe the process as slightly positive. Steps have been taken during the last weeks towards peace talks.”

Al Arabiya television reported that sources hinted talks could be held on November 29.

“Warring parties have received proposed roadmap for peace, and are studying to share their respective comments,” a well-informed Western source told Asharq Al-Awsat under the conditions of anonymity.

“Consultations should get a solid head start and to build confidence by talking about a comprehensive solution,” the source added.

The international envoy, supported by the coalition countries, is seeking consultations on a smaller scale. Bringing both Houthis and the internationally-recognized government back to the negotiations table hopes to create an catalyst for talks to overcome the current stalemate.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash has welcomed an early resumption of talks, saying on Twitter the alliance would raise the issue at a UN Security Council meeting on Friday.

“(The) coalition will urge all parties to take advantage of window of opportunity to restart political process,” he said.

The Saudi state news agency reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the United States and Britain had formed a committee to address the economic and humanitarian situation in Yemen, including through possible support of its central bank.

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