Kuwait, which is hosting the Yemen negotiations, has finally set a 15-day deadline for the warring parties to reach a peace agreement. A Kuwaiti official told the two delegations to reach an agreement by the deadline or leave the country.
“Kuwait has been hosting the talks for a long time and this is enough,” Kuwait’s Assistant Foreign Minister, Khalid Al Jarallah, said.
The blunt warning by Kuwait came after an apparent deadlock in the talks, which have been ongoing for 100 days with no practical results. Despite the repeated pleas by United Nations envoy Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad to both parties to “make concessions”, in order to arrive at a peaceful settlement, the Al Houthi delegation continues to stall the talks by trying to dictate new terms.
The talks were initiated by the UN, and backed by the Saudi Arabia-led Arab coalition, on the basis of UN Resolution 2216, which stipulates the return of the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the withdrawal of the illegal Al Houthi militias and their allies from the cities.
It also called on the illegal militias to hand over their weapons to the legitimate authorities.
The Arab coalition ceased operations in order to give peace every chance.
However, it seems Al Houthi rebels have arrogantly interpreted this as a concession and they are now trying to dictate unacceptable terms, such as the formation of a new government, in violation of UN Resolution 2216.
Meanwhile, some 20 million people in Yemen are suffering from a lack of basic needs and are under the threat of famine, according to Ould Shaikh Ahmad.
The Arab coalition continues to offer humanitarian aid to all affected areas, including cities under Al Houthi control. Al Houthis, meanwhile, continue to surround and bomb areas under the control of the government. They show the least regard for human life and security of the country, which is also threatened by the growing menace of Al Qaida and Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).
The Hadi government and the coalition have made every effort to help achieve peace. But apparently, Al Houthis are not ready. Or most probably their foreign patrons in Tehran have yet to give them the go-ahead. The ball is the rebels’ court.