Anonymous UN sources have confirmed that the second round of peace talks on the Yemen conflict are expected to be held in the upcoming months, as parties met for UN-sponsored negotiations in Sweden.
The Sweden initiative is the first meeting between Saudi Arabia and its allies and the by-Iran-supported Houthi rebels since the breakdown in 2016; which was supposed to halt the war.
The war has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015 and has caused a nationwide feminine which has left almost 14 million Yemeni at risk of mass starvation and circa 85,000 Yemeni children to die due to starvation. Unsurprisingly, it has been coined as one of the worst humanitarian crisis in history by the UN.
The upcoming reconciliation talks aim to find a solution to the conflict according to the UN. However, negotiations have been overshadowed by critical issues such as prisoner swaps, the reopening of the Sanaa international airport, the fate of Hodeida, humanitarian corridors, and the rebel-held Red Sea city.
While Saudi Arabia and Iran have been facing international pressures – especially from Western countries – as a global campaign has been vowing to de-escalate the conflict, ambassadors of states with embassies in Yemen have not attended any of the peace talks. The UN sources said that “If we do not get the support of key states, then there will not be a solution…“
The US Senate may vote to force the US to stop its military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen next week, but President Donald Trump has dismissed the notion of ending arms sales.
The Yemeni government and Houthi rebels decided to have a ceasefire on the weekend and stated that they were open for further negotiations.
Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdelsalam told the media that “If we leave these consultations having made progress — progress in building confidence and finding a framework — we can hold a new round of talks”.