DUBAI: The British ambassador to Yemen posted a video speaking in Arabic and giving updates on the peace talks taking place in Stockholm.
Michael Aron said he will be posting updates during the peace talks between Yemen’s warring sides in an attempt to provide some level of transparency and accountability.
“I believe it is very important for Yemenis to understand what is going on here in the consultations,” Aron said in a video that was posted on the Twitter account of the British embassy in Sanaa.
The British ambassador said he would be accompanying the UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, to the peace talks which are expected to begin on Thursday at Johannesburg Castle, north of the Swedish capital.
— BritishEmbassySanaa (@UKinYemen) December 5, 2018
Meanwhile, a 12-member government delegation, led by Yemeni Foreign Minister, Khaled Al-Yamani, arrived in Stockholm on Wednesday evening, a day after the Houthi delegation flew in from Sanaa — accompanied by the UN envoy.
The talks mark the first meeting between Yemen’s legitimate government and Houthi militants, backed by Iran, since 2016, when 106 days of negotiations yielded no breakthrough in a war that has pushed 14 million people to the brink of famine.
The Sweden meeting follows two major confidence-boosting gestures between the warring parties — a prisoner swap deal and the evacuation of 50 wounded insurgents from the Houthi-held capital for treatment in neutral Oman.
The government delegation was carrying the “hopes of the Yemeni people to achieve sustainable peace,” said Abdullah Al-Alimi, the head of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s office.
The delegation had delayed its departure until the Houthis had arrived in Stockholm after they failed to show up for the last UN bid to convene peace talks in September, sources close to the government told AFP.