Yemen peace talks could resume in Kuwait this month

Dubai, Mar 21: A new round of UN-brokered Yemeni peace talks could be held by the end of this month in Kuwait, a Yemeni government official told today.

The talks would be accompanied by a ceasefire in the war-torn country where a Saudi-led coalition launched a military campaign in support of the internationally-recognised government one year ago, said the official who requested anonymity.


Yemen's warring parties who met with UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed last week have agreed on "the principle of holding a new round of talks in late March in Kuwait", the official told AFP.

Yemen's Foreign Minister, Abdulmalik al-Mekhlafi, on a visit to Doha, later said the government would attend the talks.

On Sunday, the UN envoy wrote on his Facebook page that he held "positive and constructive talks" in rebel-held Sanaa with the Iran-backed Huthis and their allies -- supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"Preparations are ongoing for the next round of peace talks on Yemen," he wrote, without giving a specific date or location. A resumption of talks must be accompanied by a "week-long truce that could be renewed if respected", he said, adding that discussions should focus on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

The resolution states that the rebels must withdraw from seized territories and disarm, before peace talks can progress.

Speaking at the Al Jazeera Forum in Qatar on Monday, Mekhlafi said the government was willing to negotiate. "We are going to go to these peace talks and ... we are hopeful that we are going to reach a solution," he told the conference, speaking in Arabic.


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