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Yemeni Deputy PM Denies Omani Mediation on Resumption of Talks | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Pro-government fighter army troops walk in a position they retook from Houthis near the Republican Palace in the northwestern city of Taiz, Yemen May 29, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

Riyadh– Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi has denied that there has been a mediation by Oman to resume intra-Yemen peace talks.

The minister explained to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that his visit to Muscat, Oman is within the framework of the bilateral relations of the two neighboring countries and has nothing to do with the direct negotiations.

He confirmed that he didn’t meet with any members of the insurgency and reiterated the government’s support to the UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

Mekhlafi said the government believes that cooperation with the UN is the best means to achieve peace based on the three references.

On Tuesday, Reuters quoted a Yemeni government official as saying that Oman is mediating between Yemeni President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s government and its Houthi opponents over a UN plan to resume peace talks in the war-torn country.

Mekhlafi denied all rumors about the resumption of talks and reported that the meeting in Oman was positive.

The FM stated that the Houthi insurgents are not serious about achieving peace and are unaware of the sufferings of the Yemenis.

“Insurgents refused to work with the UN envoy and tried to open fire at him upon his arrival in Sana’a. They didn’t meet with him nor did they discuss his suggestions. I don’t think they are serious about achieving peace in any way,” Mekhlafi stated.

He explained that the government, national army and resistance are fighting Houthis that will eventually be forced to accept peace. He insisted that the Yemeni government will continue to welcome peace in the country and cooperate with the UN envoy.

Mekhlafi wants the world to understand that, unlike the insurgents, the Yemeni government seeks peace but will not surrender or welcome the Iran-linked insurgency militias in the country.

When asked about Hodeidah Port and a third neutral party managing it, Mekhlafi said the UN envoy had many ideas, but insurgents wouldn’t even meet with him because they are irresponsible and did not commit to the ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan.

Mekhlafi explained that so far there aren’t any positive indications that insurgents are willing to withdraw from the port or take any serious action. However, he did explain that if they retreated from the port and ensured revenues are reinstated to the Central Bank, then it means they have taken a positive step towards resuming the negotiations based on the three references.

The FM reiterated the Yemeni government’s right to liberate all Yemeni territories, but insisted that if the insurgents continued to adopt the same methods, then the government had no other choice but to continue freeing all governorates.

Concerning media reports stating that insurgents stole medical supplies for cholera treatment, Mekhlafi said the militias have numerous crimes and the main disaster is that Houthis destroyed the country and impoverished the people.

By stealing medications, the Houthis become the main reason behind the people’s prolonged suffering, he added.