Aden – Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed left Sana’a on Monday without reaching any agreement with rebels on any issue.
Several Yemeni sources said that the U.N. envoy refused to meet with members of the rebels’ government based on the fact that their cabinet was formed “unilaterally.”
Ould Cheikh rather preferred to meet with the rebels’ foreign minister Hisham Sharaf, who is a member of the General People’s Congress (GPC) party, formed by Saleh.
Houthis, however, later leaked on their social media networks information about a meeting between Ould Cheikh and members of the rebels’ government, saying that the U.N. envoy had asked that their meeting not be revealed to the media.
On Monday, Ould cheikh said that the U.N. only acknowledge the Yemeni government headed by Ahmed bin Dagher, with whom he had already discussed administrative issues related to the international organization, in addition to the U.N. roadmap.
“We have sent some messages that we hope would reach Houthi commanders and the People’s Congress,” he said.
Yemeni government officials had rejected a previous roadmap proposed by the envoy. And since last year, Ould Cheikh has failed to make the Yemeni warring parties sit at the same negotiating table.
Press Secretary of Prime Minister Ghamdan al-Sharif told Asharq Al-Awsat that rebels do not look for peace. He said: “The rebels were disappointed when the U.N. envoy rejected to meet their prime minister and when he announced from Sana’a that the U.N. only acknowledge the government of Bin Dagher.”
Asharq Al-Awsat also learned that Ould Cheikh is expected to return to New York on Jan. 26 to inform the Security Council on his efforts to revive peace talks in Yemen.
At the field level, the Yemeni National Army and the Southern resistance announced on Monday noon their complete control of the city of Mokha and its port in the Taiz directorate as part of their operation “Golden Spear”, launched two weeks ago. Their goal is to drive Houthis out of Yemen’s entire Red Sea coast, which stretches some 450 km.
It seems that following Mokha’s liberation, the next target is the recuperation of Al Hudaydah. Political analyst Yassin al-Tamimi said: “The liberation of Mokha will widely open the door to the incursion of the National Army in the direction of the north to liberate Al-Hudayda, one of the most important ports at the Red Sea coast and then to Al-Lihya before reaching Midi.”