On Thursday, the UN said a fresh round of peace talks aimed at ending the conflict in Yemen would resume next week in the region. Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said he would announce the venue in the next few days.
Ambassador Khaled Alyemany told Asharq Al-Awsat that the talks are likely to be held in Muscat, Oman, and attended by five to seven representatives from each party to the conflict, that is the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Iran-allied Houthi rebels.
President Hadi, the ambassador maintained, told Ould Cheikh Ahmed that he was willing “to hold a round of face-to-face talks [with the Houthis] provided that it be coupled with … a mechanism for implementing UN resolution 2216.”
Alyemany said there was “a genuine and serious desire on the part of the Yemeni government to find a political solution to end the suffering of the Yemeni people.”
The ambassador said the government of President Hadi is waiting for the UN to announce the date and venue for the talks.
When asked whether there were any guarantees that next week’s talks would succeed, Alyemany said: “Ould Cheikh Ahmed told us that the Houthis are now ready to unconditionally implement resolution 2216.”
Saudi Arabia spearheaded a coalition of nine Arab states to bomb the Iran-backed Houthis in late March, shortly after President Hadi fled a rebel advance on the strategic southern city of Aden.
Last month, pro-Hadi troops, backed by Saudi-led ground forces and warplanes, retook Aden and advanced on the Houthi-held Sana’a.