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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Riyadh conference supports political solution to Yemen war 

Yemeni prime minister reiterates support UN efforts to end conflict

Yemeni troops pass a poster of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi during patrol in Aden. AFP
Yemeni troops pass a poster of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi during patrol in Aden. AFP

Yemen's prime minister and GCC officials met in Riyadh on Monday to discuss a new UN-led peace initiative beginning in Geneva next month.

Ahmed bin Daghr reaffirmed the Yemeni government's intention to support the talks starting on September 6 and said the intervention of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition had helped his country stand up to Iran's interference through the Houthi rebels.

"A political solution must be based on unity - the coup imposed on Yemen by the Iranian-backed Houthis posed a threat to Yemen and its allies," Mr Bin Daghr said.

The meeting also discussed the GCC-backed political transition that was disrupted when the Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014 and overthrew the internationally recognised government led by President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies in the Arab Coalition intervened in the conflict at the request of Mr Hadi's government in March 2015.

GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif Al Zayani said the implementation of UN Resolution 2216 was vital to achieving a political solution that would meet the aspirations of Yemenis.

“The Houthis committed the worst kind of atrocities against the people of Yemen,” Mr Al Zayani said in his opening statement.

Resolution 2216, passed by the UN Security Council in 2015, expressed support for Mr Hadi's government and the political transition, which involves drafting a new constitution, electoral reform, a referendum on the draft constitution and holding general elections. It also called for a halt to the fighting in the country, and for the rebels to give up territory and weapons they had seized and to "refrain from any provocation or threats to neighbouring states".

Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, has said that talks next month will focus on a transitional government and disarmament.

"Primarily, we are trying to reach an agreement between the Yemeni government and [the Houthis] on the issues essential to ending the war and on a national unity government in which everyone participates," Mr Griffiths told Asharq Al Awsat newspaper.

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