MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. The ambassadors to Yemen of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom) will hold the first full-format meeting with envoys of the Yemeni government and the Houthi movement on Friday.
The talks would continue for five days, Russia’s Ambassador to Yemen Vladimir Dedushkin told TASS. “We need to achieve some practical result within those five days,” he said.
“On Friday, we begin regular daily meetings of the P5 ambassadors to Yemen. We will not just exchange information, but also plan to hold regular meetings with representatives of other countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates,” the Russian diplomat said.
He added that those talks are intended to assist UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths in his diplomatic quest.
“We will help him in bringing together the positions of the Yemeni conflict sides,” he said. “No doubt, Griffiths is coming up with an array of proposals, but he would need our external support. We would generate new proposals, new ideas that would later be submitted to the special envoy in order to convince the sides to support this or that initiative.”
The Russian diplomat said that both sides have demonstrated their readiness to negotiate and positive attitude.
“I’ve held a number of personal meetings with representatives of the two delegations. Both sides demonstrated their strong determination to achieve some result,” Dedushkin said. “Naturally, numerous differences remain, many issues have not even been raised so far. Besides, there are mutual suspicions and certain mistrust. This is true, and we have to overcome this. But, in general, we all have a positive attitude.”
Consultations between the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives are underway in Sweden from December 5 through 13. The parties to the conflict are meeting for the first time in the past 30 months.
On Thursday, the parties signed an agreement on prisoner exchange.
Armed confrontation between government forces and Ansar Allah groups has been going on in Yemen since August 2014, reaching the most active phase in March 2015 after the Saudi-led coalition invaded the country. According to Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development, more than 10,000 civilians, including almost 2,400 children and about 2,000 women, have been killed in the country since the spring of 2015.