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Geneva peace talks on Yemen stalled due to Houthi absence: UN

(Xinhua)    07:25, September 07, 2018

GENEVA, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The expected new round of United Nations-led peace talks on Yemen did not take place Thursday as scheduled, and it is not likely to take place on Friday either.

In a latest statement issued Thursday night, the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen said "no activities tied to the Geneva Consultations on Yemen are expected to take place at the Palais des Nations tomorrow".

"We will keep you informed as more details become available," the statement said.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths met with the Yemeni government delegation, headed by foreign affairs minister Khaled al Yamani, Thursday morning and exchanged ideas on the expectations of the scheduled new talks in Geneva and relevant issues to the peace process.

However, due to the absence of the Houthi delegation in Geneva, the scheduled peace talks, the first of their kind since the failure of the last talks in Kuwait two years ago, were stalled the very first day.

In a statement issued earlier on Thursday afternoon, Griffiths' office said efforts were being made to overcome last minute obstacles to allow the talks to go forward, and he was still "hopeful" to see the Houthi delegation present at the Geneva talks so as to expedite the political process.

"The Special Envoy is mindful of the challenges associated with bringing the parties together to Geneva, bearing in mind that they haven't met for two years," the statement said.

According to previous arrangements, the Yemeni parties were, in principle, expected to be inside the Palais des Nations -- the UN headquarters in Geneva -- on Thursday morning.

Griffiths announced on Wednesday that all the relevant parties to the Yemen conflict agreed that the time had come to restart the political process and both the government and the Houthi sides would kick off new peace talks in Geneva on Sept. 6.

Some media reports from Sanaa said the Houthis would not join peace talks in Geneva until their conditions were met, while another report said the Houthi delegation was simply stranded in Sanaa because the Saudi-led coalition, which controls the airspace, had not given them permission to fly.

According to the latest news report, the Yemeni government has given the Houthi 24 hours to join UN-sponsored talks in Geneva.

Earlier on Wednesday, when answering the question "Do you actually expect the Houthis to arrive?", Griffiths told reporters "we will make it happen".

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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