Yemen Peace Talks Show Progress

Yemen Peace Talks Show ProgressYemen Peace Talks Show Progress

Yemen’s warring factions held their first direct talks in a UN-backed peace process on Friday and will meet again despite failing to agree on an agenda, participants said.

The UN envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said the meetings in Kuwait had been constructive and the positive atmosphere was a step forward in efforts to end the conflict, Reuters reported.

They discussed a more permanent ceasefire in Yemen and how it would be implemented, he said.

The talks, which opened late on Thursday, seek a solution to a war that has killed more than 6,200 people, triggered a humanitarian crisis and enabled Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants to consolidate their presence in the country.

They bring together the Houthi movement, who control the capital Sanaa, and its General People’s Congress allies with the Saudi-backed government of the fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, based in the southern port city of Aden.

The Houthis and its allies want the formation of a new government representing all parties, which will then oversee disarmament. They also want to focus the discussion on security arrangements and detainees, the sources added.

The government delegation wants Houthis and fighters loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh to withdraw from cities and hand over weapons before discussing a political solution, the sources said.

The sources declined to be named because the talks, being held at the palace of Kuwait’s ruling emir, are closed to the media.