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Saudi-backed delegation pulls out of Yemen talks

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)
The file photo shows delegations taking part in UN-brokered peace talks on Yemen in Kuwait. (AFP photo)

The Saudi-backed delegation in the peace talks on Yemen has declared its withdrawal from the negotiations in Kuwait, a new blow to United Nations’ efforts to bring peace to the impoverished country.

Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi, a member of the Saudi-backed delegation, on Tuesday blamed Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and allies of torpedoing the talks, saying they have backtracked on their commitments.

“I have asked the UN envoy … to make them comply with the reference issues before we resume the talks,” said Mikhlafi, who heads the delegation representing the former government of the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, in the talks.

This is the second time the delegation leaves the negotiations.

Sources close to the two delegations confirmed that a session scheduled to take place earlier in the day was cancelled after the Hadi delegation withdrew.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed said two days ago that he is optimistic about achieving a settlement for the conflict in Yemen.

Some reports indicate that the Saudi-backed delegates and Houthis were on the verge of finalizing a deal on the release of some prisoners before the start of the holy month of Ramadan in early June.

More than a year of airstrikes by Saudi Arabia has killed more than 9,500 people. Human rights groups have documented grave violations of humanitarian law, including possible war crimes, in the deadly Saudi campaign.


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