Kuwait talks doesn’t mean military respite in Yemen

Negotiations between representatives of Yemeni legitimacy and the Houthis are scheduled to be launched in Kuwait on April 10

Mashari Althaydi

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When I asked one of Yemen’s most important and experienced politicians about Houthi flexibility regarding negotiations and political discussions, he said during their moments of military weakness, they sign any deal that does not annihilate them in order to buy time to regroup.

According to the UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, negotiations between representatives of Yemeni legitimacy and the Houthis will be launched in Kuwait on April 10. It is normal for each party in these talks, which aim to end the war, to seek to improve its situation on the ground so it has a stronger negotiation position than its opponent.

Perhaps this explains the insistence of the head of the Houthi delegation, Mohammad Abdelsalam, that there must be no preconditions for the talks.

However, this contradicts statements by the UN envoy, who said negotiations must be on the basis of UN Security Council resolution 2216, which obliges the Houthis to hand over weapons to the state, leave state institutions and accept the decisions of the Yemeni national dialogue.

Saudi determination

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman told Bloomberg that his country was pushing to create a chance for peace in Yemen.

The negotiations in Kuwait do not mean military inaction or indecisiveness on the part of the coalition

Mshari al-Thaydi

He added that a Houthi delegation was in Riyadh to discuss military, humanitarian and operational affairs. The minister, who surprised the world by establishing a Muslim military alliance against terrorism, said: “If things relapse [during negotiations], we are ready.”

Bloomberg said this signified Saudi military ability and readiness to engage in a long war in Yemen until legitimacy is restored. the negotiations in Kuwait do not mean military inaction or indecisiveness on the part of the coalition.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Apr. 04, 2016.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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