Riyadh, Jeddah- The Yemeni delegation left yesterday Kuwait, where U.N.-sponsored peace talks were talking place, after rebels rejected a draft plan presented by U.N. Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed based on Resolution 2216.
The Yemeni government delegation, which had endorsed the plan, asserted that its walking out from Kuwait did not signal a complete withdrawal from the talks.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi, who is heading the delegation, said: “We now leave Kuwait, but we are not quitting the consultations. When the rebels are ready to sign the agreement, we will immediately return.”
Al-Mikhlafi said Houthis were using the peace talks to legitimize their coup.
The Foreign Minister said without the withdrawal of their forces from the cities, rebels would get nothing, neither from the government nor from the international community.
Ould Cheikh’s draft plan calls for the rebels to withdraw from three major cities, including the capital Sana’a, hand over weapons and return state institutions they seized in September 2014, according to the government.
However, Houthi rebels want first a national unity government, with a new consensus president appointed to oversee the transition.
Al-Mikhlafi said rebels have to sign the deal before August 7, referring to the end date set by Kuwait for warring parties to reach a definitive solution to the conflict.
He said the government would continue to support efforts exerted by the U.N. envoy and the international community to solve the Yemeni crisis.
Al-Mikhlafi said his government was exerting efforts to reach peace. “We agreed on the U.N. envoy’s latest plan although we had many remarks on its content. We therefore have accepted the agreement to reach peace,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Saudi Cabinet session held yesterday in Jeddah, considered the decision of Houthi rebels and former President Ali Saleh’s forces on forming a political council in Yemen was considered a step to put obstacles in the way to reach a political agreement to end the sufferings of the Yemeni people.
The Cabinet, chaired by Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, said such decision was also a clear violation of the resolutions of the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s initiative, its executive mechanism and the outputs of the comprehensive national dialogue.