Yemen’s warring parties meet for 3rd day of talks in Sweden

Swedish Foreign minister Margot Wallstrom, U.N. envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths and delegates attend the opening press conference on U.N.-sponsored peace talks for Yemen at Johannesberg castle, Stockholm, Sweden. (Stina Stjernkvist /TT News Agency/Reuters)
Updated 08 December 2018
0

Yemen’s warring parties meet for 3rd day of talks in Sweden

  • The talks opened Thursday on an upbeat note, with the warring sides agreeing to a broad prisoner swap
  • UN officials have sought to downplay expectations from the talks, saying they don’t foresee rapid progress toward a political settlement

CAIRO: Yemen’s warring parties are meeting for a third day of talks in Sweden aimed at halting the country’s catastrophic 4-year-old war.
Both the internationally recognized government, which is backed by a US-sponsored and Saudi-led coalition, and the Iran-aligned Houthi militia say they are striving for peace.
The Houthi delegation says talks have been divided into five main sections, including discussions on a political framework and the opening of Sanaa airport for aid.
The talks opened Thursday on an upbeat note, with the warring sides agreeing to a broad prisoner swap, boosting hopes that the talks would not deteriorate into further violence as in the past.
UN officials have sought to downplay expectations from the talks, saying they don’t foresee rapid progress toward a political settlement.


Netanyahu urges rival Gantz to form unity government

Updated 44 min 3 sec ago

Netanyahu urges rival Gantz to form unity government

  • Gantz is yet to respond to the approach by Netanyahu
  • The change of strategy reflected Netanyahu’s weakened position

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Thursday on his main rival, former general Benny Gantz, to join him in a broad, governing coalition after Israel’s election ended with no clear winner.
A spokeswoman for Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, had no immediate response to the surprise offer from Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party.
The change of strategy reflected Netanyahu’s weakened position after he failed again in Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive ballot in April, to secure a parliamentary majority.
“During the election campaign, I called for the establishment of a right-wing government but to my regret, the election results show that this is impossible,” Netanyahu said.
“Benny, we must set up a broad unity government, as soon as today. The nation expects us, both of us, to demonstrate responsibility and that we pursue cooperation.”
On Wednesday, Gantz said he hoped for a “good, desirable unity government.” But he has also ruled out forming one with a Netanyahu-led Likud, citing looming corruption charges against the prime minister. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.