Host Kuwait issues ultimatum to Yemeni negotiators

Host Kuwait issues ultimatum to Yemeni negotiators

Host Kuwait issues ultimatum to Yemeni negotiators

A handout picture released by Kuwait's ministry of information on July 17, 2016, shows members delegations taking part in a meeting of the Yemeni Peace Talks in Kuwait City. AFP photo

Kuwait, which is hosting troubled Yemen peace talks, has issued an ultimatum to the warring parties to strike a deal within 15 days or leave the Gulf state.

Three months of U.N.-brokered talks in Kuwait have failed to make headway with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, both holding firm to their positions.

“We have given 15 days for Yemeni sides taking part in the talks to resolve all the issues,” Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah told Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news channel late July 20.

“If matters are not resolved within the 15 days, we have hosted them enough and consequently our brothers have to excuse us if we cannot continue hosting” the talks, Jarallah said in Brussels.

The talks resumed in Kuwait on July 16 after a 15-day break.

U.N. special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said on July 15 that the negotiations would last for two weeks and warned that they may be Yemen’s last chance for peace.

“It’s time for decisive decisions that will prove your true intentions and national responsibilities to Yemenis,” he told a meeting of the two delegations.

The envoy said the discussions between the Houthis and their allies on one side and the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi on the other would focus on strengthening a cease-fire that came into effect on April 11 but which has been repeatedly violated.

They would also deal with “forming the military committees that will supervise the withdrawal and handover of weapons... and opening safe passages for humanitarian aid,” he said.

But the two-week deadline by the United Nations angered the Houthis who reiterated their demands for a national unity government ahead of any other solution.