By Ramin Hossein Abadian

Yemen peace talks in Stockholm; the tale of negotiators with no authority

December 14, 2018 - 13:12

The Peace talks between Yemeni government delegation and Houthi representatives has begun since Thursday in Sweden. This is the third round of peace negotiations between the two sides, undergoing talks that had not been resolved in the past because of the abusive Saudi rulers.

However, this round of negotiations after months of deliberations by Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, began on Thursday between the two sides, aimed at ending nearly four years of brutal war in the country.
The Yemeni peace talks in Stockholm, Sweden, have provided conditions for Yemeni groups, in the form of a state of national salvation, to revive and restore the ignored rights of the Yemeni people.
The strategic port of Al-Hudaydah was the most important issue in the talks holding in Sweden’s capital. Saudi-led coalition has blocked Al-Hudaydah city, and after several months of aggressive attack by ground, air and sea, they failed to dominate the city of Al-Hudaydah, but the coalition has completely besieged the city.

The main demand of the Yemeni groups in the Stockholm negotiations is to determine the fate of Al-Hudaydah province and to remove the complete blockade. However, it seems that the Saudi Arabia's mercenaries squabbling excesses in the repressive Yemeni government continues. And they do not want a logical solution to the issue of Al-Hudaydah.

The Yemeni government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, demanded that the Houthis fully withdraw from Al-Hudaydah. Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, Mohammed Abdul-Salam announced that the city of Al-Hudaydah should be neutral zone and there will be no need for a military presence there if the battles stop.

Despite the fact that the Yemeni groups have gathered in Stockholm, Sweden, to end the crises in the country, the other side, representatives of Saud-back Hadi government, has always been trying to defeat the negotiations by seeking unreasonable conditions, and to block bilateral agreements.

Another key issue of the peace talks is the reopening the airport at the capital, Sanaa, which has been bombed several times. The airport is in Houthi’s territory but access to it is restricted by the Saudi-led coalition, which controls the air space. The Sanaa International Airport, controlled by the Yemeni forces, is now technically prepared to resume flights, but the Saudi-led military coalition won’t allow flights.

In the Swedish negotiations, the Yemeni government raised the precondition for issuance of a permit to reopen the Sanaa International Airport. The condition was that all flights from and to Sana'a airport be inspected and audited, however, the condition was opposed by the Sana'a Board.

The Houthi delegation head at the peace talks, Mohammed Abdusalam, rejected the proposal. “The airport should be opened in accordance with international standards, and we do not accept inspections.”

Sana'a’s government has agreed to work on the role of the United Nations at Sana'a Airport in order to advance negotiations and show its goodwill in this regard.

One of strategic suggestion in Stockholm talks was calling for a transitional government representing all political parties. 

Despite the proposal made, the delegation has not shown any response on behalf of the Yemeni government. This means that this delegation has not stepped in to help realize peace and end crisis in Yemen, but it has come to Sweden to dictate demands.

As the peace talks continue, the persecution of the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen has once again shown that the Saudis prefer their military and criminal strategy to a political solution to the Yemen crisis. Within several days of the Stockholm talks, several areas in Yemen have been targeted by Saudi attacks, followed by dozens of civilians’ martyrdom.

The spokesman of Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Sare'e has sharply condemned the Saudi-led coalition’s attacks against Yemen. He added: “the fact that the coalition forces and their mercenaries have continued their aggression against Yemen on the first day of peace talks in Sweden indicates that the aggressors have no interest in the establishment of peace and preparing the grounds for a second round of talks.”

The biggest challenge facing the current talks between the Sana'a delegation and the Yemeni government delegation is that the government has no discretionary power to make strategic decisions, and it is fully passive in order to reduce the public pressure.

Perhaps if representatives from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were present at the negotiating table with the Sana'a delegation, the talks further saw progress as the “reliant government” delegation virtually lack authority. 

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