Yemen awaits talks invite, expectations low

Geneva – Yemen’s ambassador to the UN said Tuesday that his government had not yet been invited to peace talks planned for next month, but that it was open to attending despite low prospects for success.

“We are waiting for the invitation,” Yemen’s envoy to the United Nations in Geneva, Ali Majawar, told reporters.

The UN’s peace envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, told the Security Council earlier this month that he wants to host warring parties in the Swiss city on September 6.

A Yemeni government source, who requested anonymity, told AFP on August 3 that it would attend.

Majawar underscored that in the two weeks since Griffiths announced the talks, the UN has not shared any details, including on the crucial issue of whether the government and Iran-backed Al Houthis would be asked to meet face-to-face.

The government is waiting for clarity from Griffiths “on the mechanism and contents of the consultations,” Majawar said.

“In my personal opinion, they will be very difficult consultations… We don’t think Al Houthis will make any compromises to help the talks to go forward,” he added.

Also, Ameen Mahmoud, the governor of Taiz, survived a roadside bomb targeting his convoy in the southern port city of Aden. It was unclear whether the attempted assassination was related to other violence in Taiz.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorised to talk to reporters.

Meanwhile, in recent weeks, Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi has stepped up his efforts to gain more support from his compatriots and the outside world for the campaign against Al Houthis

His latest bid came late on Monday when he urged members of the ruling People’s General Congress (PGC) party to end rifts and unify their ranks in fight against Al Houthis.

Established by Yemen’s late president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the 1980s, the PGC experienced divisions after Hadi took office in 2012, replacing Saleh.

The rifts deepened in late 2014 after Al Houthis toppled Hadi’s government and seized the capital Sana’a. Last December, Al Houthis killed Saleh after he broke his alliance with them.

Meeting senior PGC members in Cairo, Hadi called for “turning the page of disagreement”.

-With inputs from Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent

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