Yemeni peace talks enter 'new phase,' as UN envoy announces month-long pause for consultations

6 August 2016

The United Nations envoy facilitating peace talks on Yemen announced today that as the discussions wind down for a one-month break, the process will enter a “new phase,” during which “the focus will be on working with each side separately to crystalize precise technical details.”

“We depart Kuwait today but the Yemen peace talks continue. The structure and mechanism will change during the coming weeks so that we give the parties space to consult with their leaderships,” UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said of the talks, which have been hosted by Kuwait for the past three months, between a Yemeni Government delegation and a delegation of the General People's Congress and Ansar Allah.

“We will work with each party separately to crystalize the precise technical details. I once again repeat that a lasting solution is one which is worked upon with care, study and consideration. Every rushed solution comes truncated and incomplete,” he added.

As for the current round of talks, he said that the biggest dilemma was the deficit in trust between the parties and in that regard, the focus had been on the necessity of offering concessions and advancing a step towards the other side so that the other side can advance a step in return.

“We must continue to urge the parties to initiate a series of confidence-building measures and it is their duty to continue the releases of detainees and refrain from adopting unilateral measures<' he said.

Noting the difficult situation in the country, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed raised the alarm regarding the faltering economy, and called on the two sides to unify their efforts to ease the increasing burden of suffering on the Yemeni people.

He stressed that the solution for the economic crisis depends on the political solution: “The economic situation has seen a serious decline and the economic indicators are disconcerting if not dangerous. I am sounding a warning for those involved in the internal affairs of Yemen. The alarm is being sounded strongly for the economy and this is a direct result of the war. There will be no economic solution except through a lasting political solution,” he explained.

The Special Envoy also expressed his deepest gratitude to Kuwait for hosting and its gracious hospitality. He also lauded the role of the international community in support of the path to peace and praised the cooperation of the delegation of the Government of Yemen and the delegation of Ansar Allah and the General People's Congress.

In his closing statement, he cited to the most significant compromises arising from the meetings of the previous weeks, touching on the following points:

  • Renewal of their commitment to the terms and conditions of the Cessation of Hostilities, and to urgently activate the mechanisms for its implementation;
  • Activation of the De-escalation and Coordination Committee in Dhahran al-Janoub and Local Security Committees in order to strengthen respect for the Cessation of Hostilities;
  • Facilitation of the adoption of urgent measures to ensure unhindered access for humanitarian aid and basic goods and to address the economic situation;
  • Facilitation of the urgent release of all political prisoners, and all individuals under house arrest or arbitrarily detained including those mentioned in UN Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015);
  • Abstention from any acts, escalation or decisions likely to undermine the prospects of finalizing these negotiations and reaching an agreement;
  • Conducting a series of consultations between the delegations and their respective leaderships in the coming phase on the ideas, which were discussed during the talks and study them in detail;
  • Continuation of consultations and resumption of direct talks within one month from the submission of this statement at a place to be agreed upon;
  • Reaffirming the continued positive spirit in engaging with any and all matters, which may facilitate reaching a complete, comprehensive and permanent solution to the conflict in Yemen; and
  • To that end, addition to the delegations, to the next round of talks, military experts in order to provide technical support and advice in their area of expertise.

Finally, the Special Envoy noted preparations for another round of direct talks at a time and place to be announced.

Following nearly 16 months of conflict in Yemen, the cessation of hostilities was declared on 10 April and has since continued to provide relief from violence in many parts of the country. But serious violations have occurred in Marib, al Jawf, Taiz and in the border areas with Saudi Arabia.

 

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