Yemeni peace talks delayed as Houthis back out

Protestors in Sanaa called for the ceasation of air raids (Photo: AP)

A Yemeni government spokesman has said the arrival of the Houthis delegation to peace talks has been delayed following disagreements between them and the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemen’s Shiite rebels backed out of UN-brokered peace talks just hours before the negotiations were due to start on Monday in Kuwait, demanding an immediate halt to airstrikes by the coalition according to two officials who spoke to The Associated Press, on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

It was not immediately clear if the negotiations were completely scuttled.

According to two media officials linked to the Houthis, rebel representatives have delayed their trip to Kuwait.

A UN-brokered cease-fire announced earlier this month has sought to facilitate the negotiations in Kuwait, though it has repeatedly been breached. Along with Sanaa, cities of Taiz, Marib and Jouf have seen most of the cease-fire violations.

At the talks, the Houthis were widely expected to comply with a UN Security Council resolution demanding their militia withdraw from Yemeni cities, the handover of the rebels’ heavy weapons to government forces and the release of detainees.

Representatives from both sides were also to be deployed along the front lines to monitor for cease-fire violations.

Also Monday, tens of thousands of Yemenis rallied in the port city of Aden, demanding the secession of the south from the rest of the country and the return of the one-time independent state of South Yemen.

(With AP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48