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Monday, October 26, 2020

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Yemeni FM demands commitment by negotiators to basics of peace talks
Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdul-Malik Abdul-Jalil Al-Mikhlafi confirmed the decision, announced earlier Tuesday by his government delegation, to suspend their participation in the peace talks.
 
"The delegation will resume the talks in case the other two delegations (of the General People's Congress and Ansarullah movement) make written pledges to adhere to the six fundamental principles of the talks," he told a news conference here tonight.
 
Al-Mikhlafi was referring to six points of reference of the talks, namely the UN Security Council Resolution 2216, the GCC initiative for Yemen and its executive mechanisms, the outcomes of the previous rounds of the national dialogue, full recognition by all parties of the legitimate government, the results of the UN-brokered consultations in Biel - Switzerland, and the framework proposed by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
 
"Any talks lacking clear-cut timetable, agenda, points of reference and genuine desire to make peace are doomed to failure," he stressed.
 
"The current talks have entered into a blind alley as the delegations of the General People's Congress and Ansarullah movement have clearly failed to recognize the legitimacy of the UN-recognized President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his administration," he regretted.
 
Al-Mikhlafi echoed Cheikh Ahmed's statement that legitimacy is an unnegotiable redline that should never be crossed, adding that "other parties have to offer clear and unequivocal answer to whether this matter should be negotiated." "For us, we made out point crystal clear; this issue is unnegotiable. We did not come to the talks in Kuwait in order to quit later on. We rather came with firm desire and courage to restore stability and peace to the Yemeni people and resume the operation of the government institutions.
 
"We have accepted, without any reservation, the six points of reference including the UN envoy's framework out of determination to end the conflict. Despite some reservations, we have also agreed to the recently reached deal on the formation of sub-committees to address the three dossiers of political transition, the security arrangements and the political detainees," he made clear.
 
He blamed the other parties for planting hurdles on the road to peace and lukewarm will to resolve the conflict, recalling that the negotiators of the opposition parties failed to show up in Kuwait on the originally set time for the start of the negotiations on Monday, April 18, which forced delaying the talks to Thursday, April 21.
 
Al-Mikhlafi noted that he received contacts from foreign ministers and senior diplomats of several countries, including US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, who affirmed their support to the legitimacy of President Hadi and his administration.
 
He made the comments after the three negotiating teams spent 27 days of the UN-sponsored consultations here.
 
In a related development, the office of the UN envoy said in a night update that the negotiating teams held a plenary session and a meeting on the level of chief delegates today after the end of which the government delegation suspended their participation in the talks.
 
The statement quoted Cheikh Ahmed as saying: "We faced some serious challenges today. This is to be expected in such serious negotiations and at such a sensitive time." "I am confident that with the good will of the parties we are still in a strong position to be able to bring about a comprehensive settlement to the conflict in Yemen "I reiterate that all parties fully recognize United Nations Security Council resolution 2216 (2015) and the issue of legitimacy. There is growing demand for guarantees and we are in the process of responding to it.
 
"I insist once again that all challenging issues should be addressed at the negotiation table," the UN envoy added.
 
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