Yemen foes head to peace talks as ‘ugly war’ rages
DUBAI: Yemen’s warring parties meet in Geneva Thursday for a new round of peace talks with little hope of a breakthrough in an “ugly war” between the government and Houthi militias linked to Iran.
They are the first public meetings between the government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Yemen’s Houthi militias since 2016, when 108 days of negotiations in Kuwait failed to broker a power-sharing deal.
But the chance of face-to-face sitdowns between Hadi’s delegation and the militias in Geneva are slim to none, Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Yamani told AFP.
The talks, overseen by UN envoy Martin Griffiths, are aimed at charting a path toward reviving formal UN-backed negotiations.
They will likely focus on a prisoner exchange deal and the fate of embattled Hodeida, the port city at the frontline of the war.
“This war has been and remains an ugly war,” said Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, whose country is the senior partner in the coalition backing Hadi. “We have seen civilians shot at, bombed, killed and unfortunately… this is part of any confrontation.”
Meanwhile, a boat carrying at least 150 African migrants capsized off a southern Yemeni province, killing at least 30 people including five women and children.