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Kuwait optimistic over possible Yemen peace deal

Tribesmen loyal to the Houthi movement raise their weapons as they gather to show support to the movement in Sanaa, Yemen, May 26, 2016. (Reuters)

A senior Kuwaiti official said on Thursday he was optimistic over Yemen’s warring parties reaching a comprehensive agreement to end the country’s conflict, the state-run new agency KUNA reported him as saying.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Suleiman al-Jarallah said the ongoing peace negotiations, which took place at his home country Kuwait, “are on the right track.” He added that the participating delegations were keen to reach a solution to Yemen’s crisis.

Fighting in Yemen between the internationally recognized government of President Abdrabbu Hadi and Iran-backed Houthi militias has killed more than 6,400 people, displaced about 2.8 million and left 82 percent of Yemen’s population in need of aid, the United Nations says.

In an attempt to stage a coup against the Yemeni government, the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in September 2014, and expanded south and entered Aden in March last year. But Hadi loyalists backed by the Saudi-led coalition pushed them out from the southern port city in July.

Jarallah, meanwhile, said that Yemeni parties have now entered what he described as the consultation phase, where the two are attempting to detail roots of the conflict.

UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad also stressed on Thursday in a press conference that the international organization will never let Yemenis down and will carry on its efforts to push for a peaceful solution for the crisis.

He urged the Yemeni warring parties to assume their responsibility toward their people, calling them to save the country from worsening security, economic and humanitarian situations.

Ahmad made his statement after he described on Sunday the peace talks as making “incredible progress” and that a fragile ceasefire was largely holding.

Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr also stressed that the government’s delegation will not withdraw from the talks in Kuwait because it is keen to see a comprehensive peace agreement.

Till mid-May, the Yemeni government suspended its participation in the talks, blaming the Houthis for not showing enough commitment for UN Resolution Number 2216.

The resolution – adopted in April last year – requires the Iran-backed Houthi militias to surrender their weapons and withdraw from seized territory.

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Last Update: Friday, 27 May 2016 KSA 17:12 - GMT 14:12
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Kuwait optimistic over possible Yemen peace deal
In an attempt to stage a coup against the Yemeni government, the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in September 2014
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