Yemen warring parties meet after long pause
KUWAIT CITY - Yemen's warring parties held their first face-to-face meeting in nearly a week on Monday after the government delegation ended a boycott, the UN envoy said.
"A joint meeting between the two delegations to the Yemen peace talks has started in the morning," Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said on Twitter.
The troubled negotiations which began on April 21 broke off on Tuesday when the government delegation suspended its participation accusing Iran-backed rebels who control the capital of failing to keep their word.
The government demanded a written pledge from the Huthi Shiite rebels and their allies recognising an April 2015 UN Security Council resolution calling for their withdrawal from the capital and other territories they have overran since 2014, as well as the legitimacy of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Hadi had agreed to end the latest boycott after mediation by UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the UN special envoy said on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi said on Twitter Sunday that the government had agreed to give the peace talks a "last chance."
"We have fixed all the references. This is a first step on the path for a real peace that leads to implementing Resolution 2216 beginning with withdrawals, surrender of weapons and the restoration of state institutions," he said.
Despite a 14-month-old Saudi-led military intervention in support of Hadi's government, the rebels and their allies still control many of Yemen's most populous regions, including the central and northern highlands and the Red Sea coast.