Come back to negotiating table,’ Saudi ambassador urges Yemen

Mohammed Al-Jaber
Mohammed Al-Jaber

Mohammed Al-Jaber

:: The Saudi Arabian ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, has urged Yemen to open a dialogue with UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

Al-Jaber told Al Hayat newspaper that Saudi Arabia sees this as the best way to solve the ongoing crisis.

“Our goal now is to promote a political solution, and push the Yemeni parties to engage with the international envoy, in order to return to the negotiating table,” he said.

He added that the UN envoy “needs to first sit with the Yemeni parties to discuss all ideas, and then submit his proposals.”

In a recent statement on his Facebook page, Ahmed stated, “We are currently considering steps that each side can take to restore confidence and move forward toward a viable negotiated settlement.”

He explained that these steps are based on three pillars: “The cessation of hostilities, implementing specific confidence-building measures that will alleviate human suffering, and returning to the negotiating table with a view to reaching a comprehensive peace agreement.”

Ahmed stressed that the conflict in Yemen is essentially a political conflict “so it can only be resolved by political negotiations,” saying that he is now intensifying efforts to return to serious negotiations between all parties.

However, Yemen’s Houthi insurgents have blasted the UN envoy’s efforts, with Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdel Salam labeling his proposals — and his attempts to impose them — “aggressive.”

Salam is particularly disappointed in the UN’s failure to re-open Sanaa airport and ease what he called “the economic and humanitarian blockade” of Yemen.

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