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Kuwait Talks Address Withdrawal from Sanaa, Saada and Taiz - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh-Yemeni government delegation to Kuwait peace talks sent more written proposals and visions to U.N. envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed regarding the implementation of U.N. resolution 2216; coinciding with optimistic and reassuring proposals on the progression of talks.

Only two days after the delegation proposed the importance of leaving the political scene in Yemen for whoever is included in the sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council, the delegation suggested again on Thursday specific mechanisms to be adopted in order for the militias to withdraw from Sanaa, Taiz, and Saada.

During the past two days, Ould Cheikh said that his meetings specifically addressed the details and mechanisms of withdrawal, handover of weapons, resumption of political dialogue, restoration of state institutions and other matters that will be included in a comprehensive agreement.

“The discussions also covered the importance of guarantees and reassurances to ensure the implementation of an agreement,” he said.

He stressed that the talks are ongoing, the international support is stronger than ever and the United Nations is determined to achieve a lasting peace and to solidify any agreement reached.

“It has been a long week of sessions, in which we discussed a wide range of issues. Some sessions were promising and others tense. In spite of all of the challenges we are facing, the United Nations remains deeply committed to finding a peaceful solution,” Ould Cheikh added.

The U.N. Special Envoy pointed out that the parties have started to address specific and sensitive matters in detail based on the agreed reference-points. It was agreed that the prisoners’ committee will continue to work separately; noting that the committee was reinforced by human rights experts from both sides.

He also said that representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) came to Kuwait on Wednesday at the invitation to his office. They met bilaterally with the delegations to brief them on the roles and guidelines for prisoners release and exchange processes in war zones and the mechanisms of ICRC’s work in this area.

Ould Cheikh revealed the international determination to end the conflict in Yemen, saying: “Efforts of the leadership of Kuwait, Qatar and the U.N. Secretary-General had a positive impact and led to the return of the Government of Yemen’s delegation to the joint sessions.”

On Monday, a joint plenary session was held in which the leaders of both delegations renewed their commitment to dialogue to reach a political agreement that is acceptable by all.

He added, “I briefed the Security Council in a closed-session through video conference on Wednesday. During the session, I gave an overview of the talks, the preliminary understandings reached and I explained the compromises and solutions that are currently being considered. I also gave a summary of the support needed by my Office in order to facilitate the implementation of a peace agreement including support for interim security arrangements.”

The representatives of Houthi and Saleh’s delegation and the General People’s Congress (GPC) in the De-escalation and Coordination Committee (DCC) have returned to their duties after a one-day suspension. “The DCC continues to work with dedication, and we are working with the team to provide additional technical support,” he said.

In brief, the talks are ongoing, the international support is stronger than ever and the United Nations is determined to achieve a lasting peace and to solidify any agreement reached.

Ould Cheikh explained: “The parties must assume their responsibility towards the nation. We are at a dangerous crossroads. One path leads us to stability. If the parties do not provide the required concessions, the situation on the ground would significantly worsen.”

“As we are approaching Ramadan,” he said, “we hope that the parties will undertake tangible steps towards alleviating the economic suffering of the people, the release of prisoners and detainees, and the implementation of the cessation of hostilities.”

Because he has been asked several times about the time limit of these talks, the U.N. envoy explained that there is no time limit and the parties will stay as long as it takes. He urged the participants in the talks to redouble their efforts to reach a peace agreement.

“It takes time to end conflict. A sustainable and inclusive agreement cannot be rushed. It is now up to the parties to decide,” Ould Cheikh stated.

Regarding the economic situation in Yemen, the U.N. Special Envoy warned that the ongoing conflict has destroyed the country’s economic infrastructure and severely disrupted the functioning of state institutions, causing the suffering of many civilians.

He said that failure to address the issue will lead to further deterioration of the economic situation.

“Last week witnessed a sharp devaluation of the Yemeni Riyal and an alarming decline of the resources and liquidity held by the country’s treasury,” he noted.

The continuation of this trend will lead to a rapid increase in inflation and negatively affect the humanitarian and social situation.

In this regard, “I proposed to the parties the creation of an “Economic Task Force” in the near future.”

He further explained that the committee would enlist the support of economic experts in order to manage the situation and take the necessary measures to save the economy.

As an urgent first step, “I call on the Yemeni parties and the international community to support the Social Welfare Fund.”

The fund, he said, would include direct financial support to the most affected segments of society, inject liquidity into the country, ease the pressure on the Central Bank, and help alleviate suffering.