UN envoy lauds choosing Kuwait as venue for Yemen talks

By Nasser Al-Khamri

KUWAIT, June 22 (KUNA) — UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad has expressed satisfaction for choosing Kuwait as the venue for the inter-Yemeni conciliation talks noting that the Gulf state aided the Yemenis at this level in the past.
Cheikh Ahmad was speaking in a statement in a statement KUNA after his participation in a closed-door session of the UN Security Council by satellite, briefing the council members about the diplomatic efforts in Kuwait.
Kuwait’s political and logistical contribution to the political process is very positive, he said, lauding in particular the significant role undertaken by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for backing up the peace consultations.
He also lauded the support given by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and his deputy, Khaled Al-Jarallah, for keeping the negotiations going.
The troubleshooter expressed gratitude to Kuwait, as a State, Government and people, for hosting the consultations and offering all needed facilities for the political process.
Cheikh Ahmad added in the remarks to KUNA that His Highness the Amir had hosted him four times on sidelines of the process, adding that he had also received Yemeni delegations twice. During these meetings, His Highness urged for pursuing the dialogue for reaching a settlement to the crisis.
Asked about Ansarullah’s statement expressing readiness to surrender weapons and re-establish the state institutions according to international guarantees, he said, “We have expressed a clear opinion in this respect and we have come to Kuwait to act under the umbrella of the Security Council resolutions 2216 and the five points upon which the dialogue has been based.” The resolution 2216 stipulates adherence to the legitimacy, represented by President Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. “This matter is not contentious,” he confirmed.
Regarding the UN-proposed road map, Cheikh Ahmad said it includes practical ideas to end the conflict, on basis of the resolution 2216, working out security measures and forming a national unity government to be tasked with holding political dialogue pending a comprehensive political solution. “It is necessary that such a dialogue involves the women and the youth as well as the effective political forces,” he stated.
He indicated that forming joint military committees was still under examination and revealed that the Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby had expressed readiness to dispatch observers to report about fighters’ withdrawals and guns’ handover.
The talks have already resulted in releasing 54 prisoners by the government and 400 by Ansarullah.
Cheikh Ahmad urged all the parties to release political prisoners, journalists and detainees held for their opinions.
He revealed that the government has demanded release of more than 2,000 prisoners held by the other side, while Ansarullah and their allies called for freeing more than 4,000 prisoners.