Preparations underway 'at full speed' for intra-Yemeni peace talks, says UN envoy
1 April 2016 – Preparations are underway “at full speed” for the next round of United Nations-brokered intra-Yemeni peace talks to start on 18 April in Kuwait, a UN envoy said today.
The aim is to reach a comprehensive agreement that will end the war and allow the resumption of inclusive political dialogue in line with UN Security Council resolution 2216 (2015) and other relevant Council resolutions.
“I am looking forward to the active participation of relevant parties in the talks,” said Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Yemen, urging the country's delegations to seize this opportunity to provide a mechanism for a return to a peaceful and orderly transition based on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative and the outcomes of the national dialogue conference.
UN political experts have already been deployed to Sana'a and Riyadh to work with the delegations there toward the resumption of talks, he said. Another team is on its way to Kuwait to finalize the preparations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Special Envoy said he encouraged the parties to engage constructively in the talks, including on the areas of the withdrawal of militias and armed groups, the handover of heavy weapons to the State, interim security arrangements, the restoration of state institutions and the resumption of inclusive political dialogue, in addition to the creation of a special committee for prisoners and detainees.
Within this same context, the special envoy welcomed the encouraging steps taken recently between Saudi Arabia and Ansarallah, known as the Houthis, including the release of prisoners and the relative calming at the borders.
“These initiatives reinforced the spirit of the confidence building measures recommended at the previous round of talks and there is no doubt that they can provide an important drive to the political process,” he said.
The parties to the conflict have agreed to a nation-wide cessation of hostilities beginning at midnight on 10 April. “With political will, good faith and balance, they could take this opportunity to end the conflict and pave the way towards a permanent and durable end of the war,” he added.