UN: ‘Significant’ differences persist among Yemen foes


Kuwait City / AFP

Yemen’s warring parties held a fifth day of peace talks in Kuwait on Monday after the UN envoy said “significant differences” still separate them.
A UN spokesman said the talks between the government and the Shiite Houthi rebels had resumed after extensive discussions of security, political and humanitarian issues on Sunday.
“Significant differences in the delegations’ points of view remain but nonetheless there is consensus on the need to make peace and to work intensively towards an agreement,” UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a statement late on Sunday.
Negotiations on a political settlement have made no headway as the two sides are still discussing ways to consolidate a fragile ceasefire that went into effect on April 11.
The delegations have agreed to appoint two officials, one from each side, to make recommendations on how to sustain the ceasefire, the envoy said.
The government delegation has insisted that the ceasefire should include confidence-building measures, such as opening safe passages to all besieged areas and releasing prisoners.
The Iran-backed Houthis are demanding an immediate halt to air strikes that a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out since March last year in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

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