Yemen government delegation leaves for UN peace talks in Sweden

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A delegation representing the legitimate Yemeni government is expected to arrive in Sweden on Wednesday, in preparation for the start of the UN peace consultations expected on Thursday.

Yemeni Minister of Sports, a member of the government delegation, Hamza al-Kamali, told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that they will leave early morning Wednesday for the Swedish capital, Stockholm.

Dr. Abdullah al-Alimi, heading the Yemeni presidential office and a member of the negotiating delegation, said that the delegation of the Yemeni government will carry the hopes of the Yemeni people to achieve sustainable peace based on ending the coup and eliminating all the reasons that led to it.

He added: “In implementation of the directives of the President of the Republic of Yemen, the government’s delegation will put the concerns and aspirations of the Yemeni people at the top of its priorities and will make every effort to ensure the success of the consultations, which we consider a real opportunity for peace.”

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Al Arabiya news channel correspondent revealed on Monday that the Yemeni government delegation headed by Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khaled al-Yamani will leave for Sweden on Wednesday (December 5) after confirming the arrival of the Houthis.

The correspondent said that the consultations (indirect as planned so far) will begin on Thursday, December 6, or maximum on Friday, December 7, and is expected to be confidence-building measures.

The release of prisoners and detainees which will be the first achievement of these consultations, as both the parties had earlier on Monday agreed on the prisoners’ exchange deal, which was negotiated by UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths .

Tough talks

It was earlier repoorted that the delegation of the Houthis arrived Tuesday evening in Stockholm. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, has said that the talks are not likely to be easy or quick.

On Tuesday evening, the United States welcomed the upcoming Yemeni peace talks, calling it “a necessary and vital first step,” calling on all parties to engage fully and “stop any hostile actions under way.”

The US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: “We have no illusions, and we know that this process will not be easy, but we welcome this first necessary and vital step.”