The Yemen Peace Talks, being held in Kuwait, entered into its third-day on Saturday with second session going on into the evening. Both sides to the conflict are aiming to reach consensus on a broad solution to the conflict in their country.
The UN-backed talks, which got underway at the Bayan Palace on Thursday, 21 April, are being mediated by the UN Special Envoy Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed and Kuwait’s Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. The warring factions in the Yemeni conflict are represented on one side by the Yemeni government and on the other by the General People’s Congress of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Ansarullah Movement of the Houthi rebels.
The talks, which center on implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2216, is exploring the potential to set up a framework that will pave the way for an organized peaceful process in Yemen, based on the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and the outcome of the Yemeni National Dialogue.
In his opening speech at the conference, the UN envoy called on both sides to show “goodwill” and be more pliable at the peace negotiations so as to reach a political solution to the country's crisis. Noting that there are only two options: "Either to get a safe country, which ensures stability and rights of its citizens, or the remains of a land in which its people die every day,” the envoy added, "The way for peace may be thorny, but is still paved and there is no room for failure."
Referring to the deterioration of humanitarian situation in Yemen, the envoy pointed out that since the conflict began, nearly 7,000 people have been killed and more than 35,000 others wounded, while over three million people have been displaced from their homes. He urged the parties to turn a new page and put the country's interest ahead of anything else to safeguard human rights and the law. Reiterating that the talks in Kuwait would continue until a tangible solutions to the crisis was found, the UN envoy thanked His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, the government and people for their hospitality and efforts in holding the negotiations.
For his part, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled called the conference a "historical chance" to end the country's conflict and stop the bloodshed. He urged all parties to take into consideration the suffering of their brothers and sisters, and to try to avoid further destruction and displacement. "We hope that Yemen's disputed parties would be wise enough, and put the interest of Yemen and its people ahead of anything else during these negotiations in order to resolve the crisis," said the Foreign Minister.
Underlining the need for both sides to contribute positively to the peace negotiations, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled called on them to reach a comprehensive solution that will save the country and maintain the region's stability and security. "Kuwait, which has been standing side by side with its brothers since decades, welcomes your purposeful efforts to end the conflict," he said, expressing hope that the negotiations would succeed to reach peace, which restores stability and security to Yemen, and maintains its territorial integrity.
The minister conveyed greetings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to all participants, voicing hope of His Highness the Amir that the negotiations would achieve its goals. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled also expressed his gratitude to the role of the UN and its representative Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed in sponsoring the negotiations.