Houthis ‘not keen on Yemen peace’
Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi met with a UN envoy in Aden on Saturday to agree on peace talks with Houthi rebels set to begin in mid-December, officials from the president’s office said.
“Despite the suffering and wounds, our hands are always outstretched for peace based on national and humanitarian responsibilities toward our people,” Hadi was quoted as saying after meeting the envoy.
It was the first such meeting in Aden since pro-government forces liberated Aden earlier this year with the help of a Saudi-led coalition.
“The government is ready for talks but the other side isn’t, and its actions on the ground contradict their statements that they support a peaceful solution,” said Abdel-Malek Al-Mekhlafi, who was named as foreign minister by Hadi last week.
Previous peace efforts have ended in failure, with the government demanding the implementation of a UN resolution calling on the Houthis to lay down arms seized from the state and withdraw from territory, including the capital.
At Saturday’s meeting, UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed presented a draft plan to implement the UN resolution, the officials said.
The draft will also be presented on Sunday in Oman to leaders of the party of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is allied with the Houthis, party official Yasser Al-Awaidi told The Associated Press.
On Saturday, masked gunmen on motorcycles carried out separate attacks on vehicles in Aden, killing Col. Aqeel Al-Khodr, a military intelligence official who supports Hadi, and Judge Mohsen Alwan.
Three other people were killed in the attack on Alwan, security officials said.