The Special Envoy’s Press conference
Kuwait- The Government of Yemen presented its vision on the security arrangements especially the withdrawal and the handover of weapons. Today, the delegation of Ansarullah and the General People’s Congress (GPC) presented a comprehensive paper setting out the delegation’s vision on the upcoming phase. It included a proposal on withdrawals, the handover of weapons, prisoners and detainees and the political aspects. The Government’s delegation furthered its proposal by presenting other elements on the general framework and addressed the restoration of state institutions, the resumption of the political process and the issue of prisoners and detainees. In addition to the written proposals, the two delegations made presentations today during the plenary session to clarify the main elements of their papers.
The session went on in a positive and constructive atmosphere. It is important to recognize that both papers included full commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015), other the relevant Security Council resolutions, the GCC initiative and the outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue. This is an encouraging start that will set the ground for a negotiated solution.
We are currently developing a general strategic framework that includes many element of the proposals from the two delegations and builds upon the common denominators and provides a comprehensive and holistic mechanism for addressing the key issues.
Does that mean that we have positive signs of a political understanding? Yes
Does that mean that we have overcome all the obstacles that prevent the political solution? No but we are still working towards this.
In brief, what I want to say is that we are on the right track with the support of the Yemeni people and your support. However, we have come a long way and there is a mutual will and strong determination to reach a solution.
I seize the opportunity to clarify some points:
First: the time factor
I am aware that everybody is waiting for a rapid solution. I hereby repeat to the delegates that they are faced with a national and humanitarian responsibility with every hour as Yemenis continue to suffer without reaching a solution. However, realities on the ground require us to be realistic. A war that lasted for over a year can’t be resolved in one day. Any rushed solution will be fragile and short-lived. What we are trying to achieve is a robust solution and a solid foundation for a comprehensive solution that brings peace back to Yemen and security to Yemenis.
Second: the structure and framework of the talks
I noticed that some people evaluate the outcomes of the sessions based on the way they are held. They think that bilateral sessions reflect negative atmosphere while plenary sessions are reassuring. Let me clarify that the peace talks don’t follow one structure. Some sessions require in-depth discussions around specific issues with particular persons. Other issues require the consensus of all delegates. Let me here reassure everybody and reiterate that we identify the structure, content and process of the sessions based on the requirements and priorities of the peace talks to ensure the integrity of efforts to reach a comprehensive solution that covers all security, political, humanitarian and economic aspects.
We are constantly following the security developments. Despite the relative calm in most areas, there are horrific violations in other areas. We are in contact with the Local De-escalation Committees to identify the reasons for such violations. We are also trying to pressure the relevant parties to avoid these incidents. I have seen the reports about civilian deaths in the past couple of days. As much as it hurts us all that civilians are paying the price for these lapses and lack of commitment, their blood pushes us to pressure all the parties more to fully comply by the CoH. I pay my condolences to the families of the victims and pray that this be the last time innocent civilians are killed as a result of the fighting. All parties renewed their commitment to the CoH. I once again repeat that peace in Yemen will only happen through a political solution. The talks in Kuwait should provide the general framework for this solution.
Let the headline of this phase be; “moving forward towards peace”. We see a common desire among the delegates to move forward and we hope that the winds of relief will touch the hearts of all citizens in Yemen. With your support and communication, and with the cooperation of the international community and the support of the United Nations, we are optimistic and we hope that Yemen will be blessed with ease after the hardship.