A United Nations (UN) conference designed to help forge peace in war-ravaged Yemen has been postponed, a UN official said Sunday, just four days before it was due to begin.
There had been growing uncertainty over which of the warring Yemeni parties would attend the talks, slated to begin on Thursday in Geneva, and the postponement is a further blow to UN efforts to broker peace in Yemen
“I can confirm that the meeting has been postponed,” the UN official told AFP, without providing further immediate explanation.
Underlining the difficulty of trying to get the rivals around the negotiating table, exiled Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi laid out his government’s demands to attend the talks in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, insisting Houthi rebels must withdraw from territory they have seized.
The embattled leader demanded full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2216. The April resolution called on the Houthis to relinquish territory they seized and surrender weapons they took from the army and other state institutions.
The spokesman of the exiled government, Raja Badi, told AFP the resolution “must be implemented in order to bolster the talks.”
“It is difficult for us to attend consultations in Geneva on Thursday under the present circumstances,” he said, before the announcement that the talks had been mothballed.