Al Mukalla: The Yemen government delegation participating in the difficult peace talks in Kuwait has promised to leave the host country early next month even if the warring parties do not sign a peace deal with Al Houthis and their allies.
“What’s been attributed to me that I said two weeks is not enough to finish the talks by Al Rai Newspaper is not true. We will finish on time,” Abdul Malik Al Mikhlafi, Yemen foreign affairs minister and the head of government delegation, said on twitter on Friday, referring to the Kuwait’s notice to representatives of Yemen warring factions to leave the country in 15 days if they do not reach a deal to end more than a year of conflict that ravaged the country.
“This is a last chance for peace. If the putschists (Al Houthis and forces loyal to the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh) waste it thinking that they can come to Kuwait to manoeuvre and waste time then they’re deluded.” Al Mikhlafi said in another tweet.
Yemen warring factions convened in Kuwait in April in the current round of peace talks that aimed at putting an end to the civil war that ensued from Al Houthis grab of power early last year.
A member of government delegation told Gulf News on Saturday that the two-week deadline was first initiated by them before leaving for Eid break early this month.
“Before leaving Kuwait, we asked the UN envoy to set a deadline for ending talks,” the government delegate said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief reporters.
The same official said that he does not think that the delegations would strike a deal before the deadline. “I do not think we can make any progress within the next week. The head of our delegation, Abdul Malik Al Mikhlafi, and UN envoy Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad had flown to Mauritania for an Arab League summit. We cannot do anything until they come back.”
The official predicts that the UN envoy would shuttle between Sana’a and Riyadh to reach a compromise when current peace talks end.
Last week, Al Houthi spokesperson Mohammad Abdul Sallam told Al Mayadeen TV that they would reject any proposal that does not include forming a unity government and security committees that would monitor their withdrawal from cities. The government side insists that the rebels should first leave cities including the capital and hand over arms to the state before forming a government.