Local News

Yemen Government Trying To ‘Impose’ Own Agenda On Talks: Houthi Says

National Yemen

Abdulmalik al-Houthi

SANAA: Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, leader of Yemen’s Houthi rebels who bear his name, accused the exiled government Tuesday of attempting to impose its own agenda on the United Nations and peace talks in Geneva.

“They tried to impose their own agenda,” said Houthi, in a televised speech on Al-Masirah television channel, accusing the Yemeni government of using the United Nations and envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed as a “tool.”

“Leave to the United Nations some neutrality to continue its mission … Stop your continuous attempts to control its new envoy,” said Houthi.

The rebel delegation had delayed its departure from Sana’a Sunday over differences with the U.N. on formalities linked to the much-delayed talks that opened Monday, a day later than scheduled.

They had been demanding a statement published on Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s Facebook page be treated as an official U.N. statement.

The statement names the various parties taking part in the talks without classifying them as a legitimate government and rebels – a formulation adopted by the government that refers to the Houthis and their allies as “coup” forces.

In his speech, U.N.-sanctioned Houthi accused the government of “undermining the importance” of the Geneva meeting by calling it “consultative and not a serious dialogue aimed at reaching a solution … even though nothing is preventing a political solution” in the country.

“It is an easy matter.”

Exiled President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi reiterated Tuesday that his government will only discuss with rebels a Security Council resolution ordering their withdrawal from seized territory.

Houthi said the government is “seeking to hamper any serious … outcomes that could resolve the country’s political situation. They want chaos.”

The Houthis, alongside troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seized Sana’a in September and later expanded across the country, battling Hadi’s supporters.