Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Ould Cheikh: We Are Close to a Deal Despite Differing Positions | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Yemen consultations in Kuwait are ongoing despite the differing positions of the parties involved regarding the issues on the agenda, and disputes about the priority of the points on the agenda of the meetings.

The UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh yesterday confirmed the presence of a “significant divergence in how the next stage is envisaged.” He added that this “difference in views is normal in a country where there is a war going on”. However, despite the contrast in attitudes, Ould Cheikh emphasised what he called the “positive atmosphere” at the consultations.

In addition to this, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) mentioned in a report yesterday that “the Yemen consultations that are taking place in Kuwait are nearing the completion of a landmark deal after they made significant progress within the general framework proposed by the United Nations. The deal illustrates the structure and framework for the pivotal political, security and economic points at the next stage.”

The agency quoted Ould Cheikh and other officials hinting at the “imminent completion of a major development, the features of which will gradually become clear, especially after representatives of the Yemeni delegations overcame the most important obstacles to consolidating the ceasefire.”

Sources close to the consultations confirmed that Ould Cheikh continues to hold separate meetings with the government delegation and the rebel delegation in order to bring about a convergence of views.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has forced participants in the Yemen consultations not to make any media statements. The participants have signed a “confidentiality statement” with the exception of the UN special envoy to Yemen Ould Cheikh who will hold periodic press conferences and issue media statements at the end of each day.