Riyadh Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Yemen’s Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher on Wednesday rejected a unity government proposed by Houthi rebels whom he accused of bringing the country’s economy to the brink of collapse.
At the start of a cabinet meeting in the Saudi capital, Bin Dagher emphasized that the Houthis should surrender their weapons and withdraw from seized territory in accordance with a United Nations Security Council resolution adopted in April last year.
“The retreat (of the rebels) from state institutions is non-negotiable,” the premier said.
The meeting was held inside a Saudi government hall where Dagher read from a statement with cabinet ministers seated at a long table in front of him.
At UN-brokered peace talks which began on April 21 in Kuwait, the rebels made a transitional government of consensus a precondition for applying Security Council Resolution 2216.
But the prime minister attacked “those who want a national unity government before handing over the weapons.”
He added that the country is “in a terrible state of economic and monetary collapse” after the rebels spent $3 billion, almost the entire monetary reserves of Yemen, “in their war efforts.”
He said the rebels also arranged to print more money, leading to a collapse in the value of the rial and a spike in prices.
Residents say fruit and vegetables have risen in price by at least 20 percent in recent days, while essentials like flour are up by more than 30 percent.
On Tuesday, Yemen’s government threatened to quit the peace talks.
Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, on Wednesday called on the two sides to continue negotiating to “reach positive results,” the official KUNA news agency reported.