A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, which is involved in peace talks with Saudi-backed former regime officials in Kuwait, says the two sides are close to reaching a comprehensive solution to the conflict in the country.
“We have full desire for peace and stability in Yemen and all what we ask for is peace, which is the demand of our people who suffered a lot,” said Mohammed Abdulsalam at a meeting chaired by the United Nations (UN)’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday.
Ban Ki-moon held a joint meeting with representatives of both the Houthis and Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi — who has resigned as Yemen’s president — in Kuwait, where peace talks have been going on since April.
Abdulsalam said his movement believes that the talks are the only way to find a solution to the crisis in Yemen.
“We have been here in Kuwait for over two months and had attended previous rounds of peace talks in Muscat, Geneva, and [the Swiss city of] Biel to meet with half-way with the other side and continue our journey together to build a Yemen for all,” he said.
He also urged the UN to intensify its humanitarian efforts in Yemen in accordance with the UN Charter and humanitarian principles.
The Ansarullah spokesman further said that his delegation has engaged in constructive negotiations with UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to end the Yemeni conflict and lift the siege and all the economic sanctions imposed on Yemen in order to start a political process.
He also stressed the importance of a consensus presidency, a national unity government and a joint military and security committee for a potential transitional period.
Abdulsalam highlighted the right of Yemenis to have a fully sovereign and independent state, which can restore security and stability and have good ties with all regional nations.
The main bone of contention in the talks is reportedly a demand by the Hadi delegation for the Houthis to start disarming and withdrawing from the areas they have captured before any political settlement. The Houthis took over state matters when Hadi resigned back in January 2015.
Houthis have rejected the call, saying they will only accept a deal on military and security issues after a consensus is reached on the next president and a unity government in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia launched military attacks on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to bring its ally Hadi back to power. More than 10,000 people have been killed since then.