London – Yemen’s government delegation returned to Kuwait yesterday to participate in the U.N. sponsored peace talks which according to high-ranking sources came only following guarantees to annul the road map that U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed had prepared for Yemen.
The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the government delegation arrived to Kuwait after receiving some guarantees from international mediators. These guarantees include abiding to the U.N. references without tackling the issue of forming a national unity or coalition government, which rebels had requested.
The sources said: “The Yemeni government had agreed to return to the talks after it received assertions that rebels would respect the U.N. resolution and therefore keep the discussions focused on the withdrawal (from cities occupied by Houthis and their allies), hand over arms and removal of the traces of the coup.”
Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Mikhlafi said the Yemeni government had received a written letter from the U.N. envoy following two days of discussions that made the government accept to return to peace talks in Kuwait.
He said the agreement stipulates that the second round of negotiations would not exceed two weeks, during which an agreement should be reached to respect the references. “An agenda was agreed upon to exclusively focus on withdrawals, weapons hand-over and restoring state institutions,” he said.
Mikhlafi said the government delegation would not accept wasting time and diverging from the agenda or extending time period of consultations, adding: “If it was, whoever caused that will be held responsible.”
Yemeni party leaderships had met with Ould Cheikh in Riyadh and had stressed on his responsibility as a U.N. envoy to uncover those hindering a solution in Yemen and show which party was abiding to the U.N. resolutions and references.
The first round of Yemeni peace talks had failed to produce any breakthrough because rebels had refused to respect the pre-talks agenda, which requested releasing hostages and a ceasefire.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Yemeni government delegation had handed Ould Cheikh an official letter including four main conditions for participating in the Kuwait 2 peace talks. The list includes implementing U.N. Resolution 2216 without prior conditions, and implementing the guarantees that militias had promised during Switzerland’s Biel round of talks.