UN says Yemen peace talks delayed

UN spokesman says Yemen peace talks won’t take place this week as originally planned

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

UN Secretary-General Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed speaks to the media after the Yemen peace talks in Switzerland, December 20, 2015

United Nations spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said on Tuesday that Yemen peace talks will not be held on Thursday as previously planned, but may take place a week later.

"The 14th was mentioned as a date but I don't think it's on the table any longer," Fawzi said.

"(The UN special envoy to Yemen) is looking at a date after January 20."

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the UN Yemen envoy wants to “go for a location in the region, … He has Switzerland of course in the back of his mind as an option," Fawzi said.

Earlier on Saturday, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel Malak al Mekhlafi also announced that the negotiations will not take place on the announced date of January 14.

"They will be postponed until January 20 or 23 because the Houthis rejected the date of January 14," he has said.

The first round of peace talks were held in Switzerland in December, but it failed to produce much progress towards a solution to the conflict.

Mekhlafi announced that the next round of talks would be held in Geneva.

On the other hand, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who backs Houthis in the civil war, said last week that he would not negotiate with the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a military operation against the Iran backed Houthi rebels which control the capital in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest nation.

The war left almost 6,000 people dead, nearly half of them civilians, and more than 27,000 injured.

TRTWorld and agencies