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Yemen’s Houthis, allies set conditions for possible talks



Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and the General People’s Congress (GPC) party of the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, have set conditions for the resumption of talks to end the Saudi aggression against the impoverished country.

Delegates from the Houthis and GPC said in a statement on Saba news agency that Saudi-backed resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, must go and an agreement must be reached on the presidency.

“Any talks or negotiations by Yemeni delegates must be on the condition that the United Nations offers a written and comprehensive peace plan,” they said in a statement on Tuesday, adding, “If the proposal does not include an agreement on the new presidential institution, then it [the UN peace plan] becomes merely a partial and incomplete vision, which cannot be a foundation for discussion.”

On August 7, the UN-brokered peace talks on the Yemeni conflict ended without an agreement in Kuwait. The negotiations between delegates from the Ansarullah movement and the former Yemeni regime of Hadi had begun on April 21.

Experts said Saudi Arabia’s unreasonable approach caused the UN-backed peace talks on the Yemen war to fail.

On August 13, Yemen’s parliament held its first session in the country’s capital, Sana’a, since the outbreak of conflict there 17 months ago. The parliamentarians unanimously voted in favor of the newly set up Supreme Political Council to rule the Arab country, stripping Hadi of his power and legitimacy.

On August 25, US Secretary of State John Kerry said  that he had agreed with the United Nations and Persian Gulf Arab monarchies on a plan to restart peace talks with a goal of forming a unity government.

Yemen has been under Saudi military strikes since late March 2015. Houthi Ansarullah fighters, allied Yemeni army factions, and forces loyal to Saleh have united and are fighting back the Saudi invaders.

The United Nations puts the death toll from the military aggression at about 10,000.

Smoke billows on September 14, 2016 following a airstrike carried out by Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni capital Sana’a. (Photo by AFP)

‘Devastating’ to see Yemen malnourished children: UN aid chief

In another development, UN emergency relief coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, said during a visit to Yemen that the organization needed the rapid cooperation of Yemen’s warring sides to fight malnutrition that is afflicting millions.

O’Brien added that in the absence of a political solution “it is our job to work with everybody to meet the humanitarian needs and to have the chance and the space to do that wherever those needs arise and to meet those needs impartially.”

Speaking to reporters in Sana’a, he also described as “absolutely devastating” the sight of Yemeni children suffering malnutrition.

The UN’s aid chief said he had visited a hospital in the Red Sea city ofHuraydah where he met “very small children affected by malnutrition”.

“It is of course absolutely devastating when you see such terrible malnutrition,” O’Brien said,stressing, “We need to do more. We need to do everything we can to meet the very large scale of needs which are here in Yemen,”

The UN children’s agency, UNICEF, says about three million people in Yemen are in need of immediate food supplies, while 1.5 million children suffer from malnutrition, including 370,000 enduring very severe malnutrition.

According to the UN, out of 28 million Yemenis, 21 million need some form of humanitarian aid and at least half the population suffer from malnutrition.

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