Yemen’s Houthis say they will be joining talks with representatives of the country’s former government in Kuwait after previously avoiding participation due to truce violations by Saudi Arabia.
They agreed to join the UN-mediated talks after receiving assurances from the UN special envoy to Yemen that the ceasefire would be respected, head of Houthis political council Saleh Ali al-Sammad said Wednesday.
Mahdi al-Mashat, a representative of Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi, said the fighters had been assured that the agenda for the talks would be “clear and tackle issues that could help achieve peaceful solutions.”
“We will have the right to suspend our participation” if the assurances are not fulfilled, he warned.
A representative of the Houthi-allied General People’s Congress party, Yasser Alawadi, said on Twitter that his delegation would travel to Kuwait on Thursday.
A Western diplomat in Kuwait has said the assurances had been given by representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
They had sent a message to the Houthis, saying they understand their fears” and urging them to “quickly join” the talks, the French news agency AFP reported.
The talks had been scheduled for Monday, but the Houthi delegation did not participate, citing violations by Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom has been bombarding the impoverished country since last March to shore up the former Yemeni regime and undermine Ansarullah.
More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured since the onset of the Saudi aggression.
The chance of a major breakthrough was missed during talks in the Swiss city of Biel last December, and the negotiations ended with nothing more than an agreement on prisoner exchange amid Saudi violations of a previous ceasefire.