Houthis to join peace talks if Saudi stops aggression
Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement says it will not attend next week’s UN-mediated peace talks in Switzerland unless Saudi Arabia stops aggression against the country.
In a Monday phone interview with Yemen’s al-Masirah TV network, Ansarullah spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said Riyadh should also end its blockade on Yemen.
He added that Ansarullah believes the United Nations is unable to put an end to the Saudi aggression against Yemen.
Earlier in the day, the UN special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, told reporters in Geneva that Yemen’s warring sides had agreed to take part in the peace talks due on December 15.
Ahmed added that he had met with officials from the Ansarullah movement in the Omani capital Muscat, and had gained their approval for the agenda of the negotiations.
The UN envoy also said he had discussed the talks with Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s fugitive former president.
An official from Hadi’s office said he and the Houthis had agreed on a humanitarian ceasefire before the talks, adding that steps will also be taken to free prisoners and lift the siege on the cities.
Previous UN-mediated negotiations on Yemen yielded no results.
Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March. The Saudi military strikes were launched to undermine the Ansarullah movement and bring Hadi back to power.
More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since March. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools and factories.