Al Mukalla: Yemen President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi ordered the government delegation participating in peace talks in Kuwait not to leave despite Al Houthis’ unwillingness to accept his legitimacy, a member of the delegation told Gulf News on Wednesday.

“We have received a directive from President Hadi asking us to stay put,” Salim Al Khanbashi, a member of the delegation, said.

Peace talks in Kuwait came to a standstill on Tuesday after the government walked out when Al Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s representatives refused to recognise the legitimacy of the internationally supported Hadi.

Al Khanbashi said the government delegation briefed envoys of countries that monitor the political progress in Yemen. “We had meetings with ambassadors of the GCC states, Egypt, the USA and UN. We informed them on why we pulled out of talks. We also had a meeting with Kuwaiti Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah on Wednesday morning, and we put him in the loop,”

The government delegation said that it would return to talks after Al Houthis pledge in writing that they would accept the legitimacy of Hadi and adhere to references of talks and meeting’s agendas. “We agreed to send a letter the UN envoy including our demands to Al Houthis. We would not leave Kuwait as not to be blamed for failing the talks,” he said.

Despite suspending participation in talks, Al Khanbashi said only a few government delegates from the Prisoners and Detainees Committee would convene with Al Houthis to discuss swapping prisoners before Ramadan. “There was an agreement to release 50 per cent of the prisoners, abductees and detainees including those figures mentioned in the UN Security Council Resolution 2216.” he said. The most prominent incarcerated figures are minister of defence Major General Mohammad Mahmoud Al Subihi and Hadi’s brother Nasser Mansour Hadi.

Yemeni foreign minister Abdul Malik Al Mukhilafi said in a press conference on Tuesday said that there were indications showing that Al Houthis were not serious about striking a deal with the government. Al Mukhilafi said that there was an agreement between the rebels and the government to halt hostilities ahead of talks, release prisoners and lift their siege on Taiz. “What happened to Al Amaliqia brigade showed this group is determined to add arms to its arsenal. How would a group that loots new arms hand over arms in its possession?” he wondered, referring to Al Houthis attack on an army brigade in Amran province, a move that paralysed talks early this month.