Hadi to begin peace talks with Houthis in Geneva

Yemeni President Abd Rabuh Mansour Hadi agrees to participate in peace talks with Houthi rebels in Geneva

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Yemen’s President Abd Rabuh Mansour Hadi is set to begin peace talks with Iranian-backed Houthi militias under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva.

Hadi demanded the Houthis hand over their weapons before he participates in the talks.

"The Yemeni president's decision came after a meeting with Yemeni leaders in Riyadh, along with the United Nations envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed," a source close to Hadi told the Associated Press.

Houthis and deposed Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have expressed their support for the talks, after refusing to attend a conference recently held in Saudi Arabia in an effort to resolve the Yemeni crisis.

Yemen was plunged into political chaos after Houthi militias seized the capital Sanaa in September. Following the Houthis’ capture of the city, Hadi called on Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations to help save Yemen.

A Saudi-led coalition, consisting of 12 countries, mostly from the Arab region, began operations in Yemen on March 25.

Hadi is currently in self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, US State department officials confirmed high-level officials met with Iranian-backed Houthi representatives in the Sultanate of Oman in an attempt to release kidnapped American citizens and reach a political solution to resolve the conflict in the country.

"American journalist Casey Coombs was released Monday, arrived at Muscat and is in good health," said the state department representative in Oman.

US State Department spokesman Marie Harf said that "the goal of the Geneva meeting is to emphasise our view that only a political solution, is a guarantor in resolving the crisis-ridden Yemen."

In the meantime, the UN Security Council agreed to invite the Secretary-General of the United Nations to establish a new humanitarian truce in Yemen, and discuss the need to hold peace talks between the conflicting parties as soon as possible.

TRTWorld and agencies