Yemen govt accepts UN peace deal to end war

A boy releases a dove as part of a campaign to push Yemeni negotiators to in Kuwait to reach a peace agreement, in Sanaa, Yemen. (Reuters)

The Yemeni government said Sunday it has accepted a UN-proposed peace agreement to end more than a year of armed conflict, but there has been no word from the Houthi militia.

The announcement by the Saudi-backed government came after a high-level meeting in Kuwait’s capital chaired by Yemen’s President Aberabbo Mansour Hadi.

“The meeting approved the draft agreement presented by the United Nations calling for an end to the armed conflict and the withdrawal (of militias) from Sanaa... and the cities of Taez and Al-Hudaydah,” said a statement after the meeting, cited by the Saba news agency.

Yemen’s Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi, who is leading the government negotiating team, said he has sent a letter to the UN special envoy informing him the government backed the “Kuwait Agreement.”

One pre-condition, however, is that the Iran-backed Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh sign the deal by August 7.

There has been no official reaction to the deal by the militias.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said on Twitter before the government announcement that the militias insist on a comprehensive and complete solution, and rejected what he called “half solutions.”

A political dialogue between various Yemeni factions will start 45 days after the militia’s withdrawal, according to the government.

UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on Saturday managed to extend the talks for a week after the government delegation said it was leaving, and submitted the peace deal draft to both sides.

The approval also came hours after seven Saudi troops were killed in border clashes with Yemeni militias.

More than 6,400 people have been killed in the Arabian Peninsula state since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in March last year in support of Hadi’s government.

Another 2.8 million people have been displaced and more than 80 percent of the population urgently needs humanitarian aid, according to UN figures.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47