The Yemeni rebel delegation yesterday refused to participate in sessions that are a product of the consultation committees. It also refused to attend a previously scheduled meeting with the United Nations special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed according to Asharq Al-Awsat sources at the consultations. The delegation’s refusal coincides with an escalation on the ground and the seizure of an area in the province of Taiz which is considered an “obvious violation” of the ceasefire.
The Kuwait consultations are shrouded in ambiguity considering the undeclared suspension of public and direct meetings between the legitimate government’s delegation and the rebel one. This comes after the rebels changed their minds about discussing the agenda which they previously agreed upon despite the mediation efforts made by the state of Kuwait, the United Nations and countries sponsoring peace.
Sources at the consultations said that the UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is making efforts to contain the situation so that this round of negotiations between the parties to the conflict in Yemen does not fail. Yesterday, he tried to negotiate with each delegation separately, as he has done in the past, in order to bring about a convergence in views, after the great variation that was displayed at Saturday’s session.
The rebels insisted on discussing arrangements for a political settlement without the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2216, and the steps to implement this which are represented by the road map drawn up by the United Nations which stipulated procedures. These procedures would lead to a withdrawal from cities and a surrender of heavy weapons to the state before the rebels fail in their efforts.
With regards to the efforts made by Ould Cheikh, meetings of the committees which were formed last Thursday to implement the agenda and apply UN resolution 2216 were supposed to take place yesterday evening. However, this did not take place.
A source from the Houthi delegation told Asharq Al-Awsat that they told the UN envoy not to come “because of continued bombardment”. Other sources said that the meetings of the committees formed last Thursday have entered into a second day and are part suspended. They added that ambassadors of nations sponsoring peace increased their meetings with the delegations yesterday in order to reach an understanding on contentious issues.