The United Arab Emirates on Thursday welcomed a proposal by the UN envoy to Yemen aimed at reviving a political process to end the country’s 19-month-old conflict.
The UAE is a key member of the Saudi-led Arab military coalition backing the government of Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in its war against Shiite Huthi rebels.
“The UAE supports the efforts of UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed knowing that the mission of a mediator is always tough,” the state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said on Twitter.
Nearly 7,000 people have been killed in Yemen’s conflict since March 2015 and more than 35,000 wounded ©Mohammed Huwais (AFP/File)
“The roadmap represents a political solution for the Yemeni crisis,” he added.
The UN envoy submitted to the rebels in Sanaa on Tuesday a proposal on advancing prospects for peace.
The contents have not been made public, but informed sources say the roadmap calls for agreement on naming a new vice president after the rebels withdraw from the capital Sanaa and other cities, and hand over heavy weapons to a third party.
Hadi would then transfer power to the vice president who would appoint a new prime minister to form a government in which the north and south of Yemen would have equal representation.
The government has been so far non-committal, saying it has not received any roadmap for a political settlement.
“The aim of a political settlement is to give priority to the interest of Yemen and regional stability. UN efforts represent a chance to bring Yemenis back to the political track. Other alternatives are gloomy,” said Gargash.
Around 80 Emirati soldiers have been killed in the UAE’s military involvement in Yemen.
The Arab coalition launched its campaign in March 2015 as the rebels closed in on Hadi’s refuge in the southern city of Aden, forcing him into exile in Riyadh.
Government forces backed by coalition air power have since expelled the rebels from five southern provinces, including Aden, but the insurgents and renegade troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh still hold Sanaa and much of the north.
Nearly 7,000 people have been killed in Yemen’s conflict since March 2015 and more than 35,000 wounded. The war has displaced three million Yemenis and left millions in need of food aid.