UN-Led Yemen Peace Talks Postponed

UN-Led Yemen Peace Talks PostponedUN-Led Yemen Peace Talks Postponed

United Nations talks to end the conflict in Yemen were postponed just four days before they were due to begin, a UN official said.

There had been growing uncertainty over which of the warring Yemeni parties would attend the talks, slated to begin on Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland, and the postponement is a further blow to UN efforts to broker peace in a country where nearly 2,000 people have been killed since March.

“I can confirm that the meeting has been postponed,” the UN official told AFP, without providing further immediate explanation.

Three officials from Houthi, socialist and unionist parties said late Sunday they were notified about the postponement and that no new date had been set. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Underlining the difficulty of trying to get the rivals around the negotiating table, Yemen’s fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi laid out his demands to attend the talks in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, insisting that Houthi forces must withdraw from territory they have seized.

Ban had said the May 28 meeting was aimed to “restore momentum toward a Yemeni-led political transition process,” after weeks of conflict that have left nearly 2,000 people dead in Yemen.

More than 545,000 people have been displaced in the Yemeni conflict and although some aid trickled in last week during a five-day ceasefire, people still lack basic needs, including water, electricity and fuel.