Yemen's warring parties to gather in Kuwait for peace talks

Yemen's warring parties will gather in Yemen for new round of peace talks, despite violations of one-week-old ceasefire

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries meet in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 9, 2016 in this handout photo provided by Saudi Press Agency.

Updated Apr 19, 2016

Yemeni rivals will come together in Kuwait on Monday for a new round of UN-brokered peace talks.

Parties are optimistic over the peace, despite many violations of a one-week-old ceasefire.

On Sunday, UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed came to Kuwait, where he spoke of "much tension" still roasting in Yemen, KUNA news agency said.

But, during a news briefing at the UN Security Council on Friday, he indicated that the war-torn country has “never been so close to peace” despite difficulties.

"The path to peace might be difficult, but it is workable," he said, and added that violations of the ceasefire since April 11, “threaten the success of the peace talks.”

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al Mikhlafi has called the Huthis to abandon their arms, the government-run website reported.

"We will do all we can to alleviate the suffering of our people," Mikhlafi stated and added,  "we do not expect a full agreement at this stage" but rather a step forward.

Supporters of the southern separatist movement rally in Yemen's second biggest city Aden on April 17, 2016. (AFP)

April Longley Alley, a Yemen specialist at the International Crisis Group, said, "We can expect a hard time" in Kuwait.

“In a best case scenario, the two sides will agree to a package of compromises that will build trust, strengthen the ceasefire, allow for an inclusive government to return to Sanaa and restart the political process,” she said.

“But this is a tall order.”

Yemen has remained in turmoil since September 2014, when the Houthis, backed by Iran, overran the capital city Sanaa, and other parts of the country, forcing Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and his government to flee to Saudi Arabia.

UN-sponsored peace talks to end the fighting, which has killed more than 6,400 Yemenis and displaced 2.8 million from their homes.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies began a military campaign in March 2015, aimed at restoring President Hadi back to power.

The Saudi-led coalition was able to push Houthi militias out of the southern port city of Aden last July, but Houthis still control the capital, Sanaa.

TRTWorld and agencies