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Yemeni delegation set to depart Djibouti for Geneva after forced stop

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Djibouti International Airport

A plane carrying the representatives of Yemen’s political factions to attend the UN-brokered talks in Geneva is set to take off for the Swiss city after a forced stop in Djibouti.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV said on Monday that delegates, including representatives of the ruling Houthi Ansarullah movement, are due to resume their trip to attend the high-profile talks in the Swiss city.

A source affiliated to Ansarullah told Press TV that the plane will fly to Geneva through Kenya and will arrive in Geneva later in the evening or overnight.

Earlier in the day, the plane was reportedly forced to land in Djibouti, after Egypt denied it an entry to its airspace.

Sources close to Ansarullah delegation currently in Djibuti said that Saudi Arabia seeks to manipulate the talks in Geneva as Riyadh creates obstacles to the presence of Yemeni negotiators in the meeting.

The delegation left the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on Sunday afternoon, but was forced to have a long stop in Djibouti.

Egyptian authorities have reportedly not allowed the plane to cross the country's airspace due to the Saudi pressure.

According to reports, two other Houthi representatives were also expected to arrive in Geneva from Oman.

The negotiations aimed at ending the deadly conflict in the Arab country were supposed to start in Geneva early on Monday with Yemeni political factions and former regime officials in attendance.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will also be present in the talks, is expected to meet with representatives of Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi prior to holding talks with the Ansarullah delegation.

UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi on Sunday called on all parties involved in Yemen’s conflict to observe a renewed “humanitarian pause” due to Saudi Arabia's incessant airstrikes on the impoverished country.

Sources have confirmed Hadi will attend the meeting.

The picture dated June 12, 2015 shows Yemenis clearing the rubble of houses in a UNESCO-listed heritage site in the old city of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, following an overnight Saudi airstrike. (© AFP)

The talks brokered by UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed aim to secure a ceasefire, and accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the war-racked Yemeni people.

The UN envoy said that the talks will be the beginning of “preliminary inclusive consultations” to find a solution to the conflict that has claimed more than 2,500 lives and triggered a “catastrophic” humanitarian crisis.

In a statement issued early July, the UN urged all Yemeni parties “to engage in these consultations in good faith and without preconditions in the interest of all Yemeni people.”

However, the meeting, which was initially scheduled for May 28, was delayed after Hadi refused to attend the negotiations.

The Un-brokered peace talks come as Saudi Arabia continues its military aggression against the Yemeni people.

Riyadh launched a military campaign against its impoverished neighbor on March 26 – without a UN mandate- in an attempt to undermine the Houthi revolutionaries and restore power to Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia.


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