United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is expected to arrive in Sanaa on Thursday to meet with the rebels’ delegation as part of a new a round of negotiations, Yemeni sources said. Ould Cheikh visited Sanaa last week to push negotiations forward and proposed a plan, which has since been stalled.
According to sources, discussions will be held on the reservations the rebels’ delegation had voiced about the UN plan after they agreed on it in principle and considered it as a foundation for discussions. They will also discuss militias’ withdrawal from cities and forming of military committees. Militias are demanding similar measures in areas controlled by the government.
Ould Cheikh will then head to Riyadh to meet with Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi and the government delegation. A presidential source said the delegation will receive the UN plan from Ould Cheikh.
Other sources said there are international efforts to save Ould Cheikh’s proposal to end the conflict in Yemen before US President Barack Obama’s term ends. Meanwhile, western diplomatic sources said there is intensified diplomatic activity in New York and Riyadh to resolve the Yemeni crisis and revive the efforts of the UN settlement after Yemeni parties rejected the Ould Cheikh plan.
Diplomatic efforts, particularly those being carried out by the United States and Britain, are focused on trying to reach a draft that can be submitted to the UN Security Council in order to agree on a ceasefire resolution in the upcoming days.
British envoy to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft said his country is currently holding negotiations with the UN Security Council members about the draft resolution and voiced hope that all members support it.
G-18 ambassadors are also said to be holding intensified talks to reach a political solution that is internationally supported. However, the legitimate government in Yemen has voiced reservations over the plan because it believes it is inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2216.