UN urges flexibility in Yemen peace talks

A woman and a boy walk past the ruins of buildings destroyed in Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen's capital Sanaa, September 13, 2015. (Reuters)

The UN Security Council on Monday threw its weight behind fledgling Yemen peace talks in Kuwait, urging all sides in the negotiations to be constructive.

The 15-member council stressed the importance of agreeing on a “roadmap” to implement security measures including the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

Envoys from the Saudi-backed government and the Houthi militias began talks in Kuwait on Thursday to end a war that intensified in March last year, when a Saudi-led coalition launched an air-strike campaign.

“The council reiterates its call to all parties to engage in peace talks in a flexible and constructive manner without preconditions, and in good faith,” the council statement said.

Council members urged negotiators to agree on a framework of “principles, mechanisms and processes” for reaching a comprehensive peace deal that would “bring about a permanent end to the conflict.”

The peace talks got under way after a ceasefire entered into force on April 11 that the United Nations says is largely holding despite some pockets of violence.

The negotiations represent the best hope in months for a settlement to the conflict, which has killed more than 6,800 people, displaced 2.8 million and brought the already-impoverished country to its knees.

Yemen ranks among the world’s worst humanitarian crises, according to the United Nations, with more than 80 percent of the population in dire need of relief assistance.

Last Update: 06:51 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51