Rebels ‘not serious’ about peace talks: Yemen FM

RIYADH: The weekend recapture of positions in southern Yemen by Houthi rebels shows they are “not serious” about expected UN-led peace talks, Yemen’s foreign minister said on Monday.


“We want to go to negotiations in Geneva,” Riad Yassin said on the sidelines of an Arab League meeting in the Saudi capital.

“But what they are doing inside Taez, and they are trying to re-attack places in the south… shows that really they are not serious”.

Saudi Arabia, which has led an Arab coalition fighting the rebels in support of local forces since late March, has been optimistic the talks would get underway this month.

With the United Nations also in a new push for talks, after previous stalled attempts at negotiations, UN chief Ban Ki-moon was due in the Saudi capital.

He is to open an Arab-South American summit on Tuesday evening, and to hold talks with Saudi leaders.

Ban’s special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, says last week that he was “very optimistic” negotiations would start between November 10 and 15.