Houthis insist negotiators’ flight to be used for transporting injured Hezbollah men

Source: Saudi Gazzette

By Ahmad Al-Shemeri

UN envoy Martin Griffiths attends a news conference ahead of Yemen talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland September 5, 2018. — Reuters

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – A delegation comprising 12 negotiators, representing the legitimate government in Yemen, left Riyadh for Geneva on Wednesday to attend the United Nations-sponsored new round of peace talks slated for Thursday.

However, sources in Geneva said that the Houthi delegation would not reach Geneva on time because of their new conditions for attending the talks.

“Houthis’ demand is that their negotiators’ flight shall be allowed to carry the injured Iranian and Hezbollah men on board with a stopover in Oman to facilitate their treatment before the delegation resumes its flight to Geneva,” the sources said, adding that Houthis made the condition after their consultation with the Iranian and Hezbollah officials with a plot to hamper the revival of talks.

A source at the office of the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths noted that the two sides did not have a face-to-face talks except on the opening session.

The first round of talks held in Kuwait failed to broker an agreement between the two warring parties. The talks, overseen by Griffiths, are aimed at charting a path towards reviving formal UN-backed negotiations.

Meanwhile, Muammar Al-Eryani, Yemeni minister of information, said that President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi has instructed the Yemeni delegation attending Geneva talks to make the release of prisoners as well as the body of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh on top of the agenda of Geneva talks.