News ID: 230987
Published: 1202 GMT September 07, 2018

Saudis still refuse to allow plane to take Houthis to Geneva peace talks

Saudis still refuse to allow plane to take Houthis to Geneva peace talks

Yemen’s Ansarullah movement says the scheduled peace talks are still on hold as Saudi Arabia is still refusing to allow its delegation to fly to the Swiss city of Geneva.

A delegation from Yemen’s former government of Saudi-allied Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi threatened to leave if Ansarullah delegation does not arrive within 24 hours.

Former government’s delegation, led by ex-foreign minister Khaled al-Yamani, arrived in Switzerland on Wednesday to attend the talks brokered by the United Nations to push for peace in the country and bring the years-long crisis to an end, Presstv Reported.

Yamani told reporters in Geneva that “it will take a decision within a few hours whether to continue in Geneva or to withdraw.”

The Saudis, however, are “still refusing to give permission to an Omani plane” to land at the Yemeni capital Sana’a and take the delegation to Geneva, Houthi Ansarullah said on Thursday.

It posted a statement on Yemen's official SABA news agency, saying the Houthis need to “ensure the safety of the delegation” and require a guarantee that they would be allowed to return “smoothly” to Sana’a airport.

The United Nations envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths had to postpone the talks due to delay in the arrival of the Houthi delegation.

“He continues to make efforts to overcome obstacles to allow the consultations to go forward,” Griffiths’s office said in a statement, adding that he remained “hopeful” the Houthis would attend the talks.

The UN envoy said the talks — the first since 2016 — are meant to be trying to build trust between the two parties.

The former Yemeni government resigned in 2015 as the country was experiencing political turmoil.

Former president Hadi fled to the Saudi capital Riyadh. There, he encouraged Saudi plans to launch attacks on Yemen, where the Houthi movement had taken over state matters in the absence of a functioning government.

Saudis soon invaded Yemen in an attempt to reinstall the former Riyadh-friendly officials to power despite their resignation.

Saudi war has killed thousands of Yemenis and pushed the impoverished nations to the edge of famine. A cholera outbreak, resulting from the devastation of Yemen’s health infrastructure, has also claimed more than 2,000 lives.

The UN Security Council this week urged both sides to “take a first step towards ending a conflict that has brought severe pain and humanitarian suffering to the Yemeni people”.



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