RIYADH: Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir voiced support Wednesday for peace talks on Yemen’s conflict which the United Nations says will take place this month in Geneva.
“We hope they will be successful,” Al-Jubeir told reporters after a summit of Arab and South American countries in Riyadh. “We support these negotiations and hope they will achieve peace, security and stability in Yemen,” he said.
The Kingdom has since late March led an Arab coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen, in support of the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Addressing the summit on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that his special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, “intends to convene a new round of peace consultations in Switzerland … this month”. He did not give a specific date but said both the Yemeni government and the Houthis have said they will attend. “It is critical that all sides lend their political support and engage in good faith,” Ban said.
“There is no military solution to the conflict,” he said, even as deadly fighting raged across the country.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed told AFP last week that he was “very optimistic” negotiations would start between Nov. 10 and Nov. 15. But on Monday in Riyadh, Yemen’s Foreign Minister Riad Yassin said the Houthis’ recapture on the weekend of positions in southern Yemen shows they are “not serious” about the peace talks.