UN chief disappointed by delay in Yemen peace talks
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed disappointment with the postponement of a planned initiative on a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Yemen.
The decision to delay peace talks talks, which had been planned to be organized in the Swiss city of Geneva on May 28, was made after a request by the Saudi-based Yemeni government headed by fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and some other countries.
“The secretary general has asked his special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to postpone the consultations in Geneva planned for 28 May following a request from the government of Yemen and other key stakeholders for more time to prepare. The secretary general is actively working to convene the talks at the earliest possible time,” a statement by a spokesman of Ban released on Tuesday said.
The statement added, “The secretary general is disappointed that it has not been possible to commence such an important initiative at the soonest possible date.”
The UN chief called on all parties involved in the Yemeni crisis to “engage in United Nations-facilitated consultations in good faith and without preconditions”, the statement said.
Ban, in the statement, demanded the cessation of Saudi airstrikes against Yemen and the end of the conflict in the Arab country, saying, “The only durable resolution to the crisis in Yemen is an inclusive, negotiated political settlement.”
Saudi Arabia launched military attacks against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – with the aim of undermining Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, which currently controls Sana’a and major provinces, and restoring power to Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The Yemeni Houthi movement has announced that it will participate in the peace talks if Riyadh stops its military aggression against the impoverished Arab country.
On May 21, Mohamed Abdel-Salam, a spokesman for Ansarullah, said that the Houthis cannot accept to sit down at the negotiating table as long as the Saudi regime goes on with its airstrikes on the Yemeni people.
Nearly 2,000 people, according to the UN, have been killed and 7,330 others injured due to the conflict in Yemen since March.