A cease-fire between Yemen’s warring parties is achievable in the coming days, though negotiations this week haven’t produced an agreement, United Nations envoy Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed said.
Further talks could result in an accord “soon,” though no date has been set for the next meeting, the diplomat told reporters in Geneva, where he’s been brokering indirect negotiations. “There is a certain willingness from all the parties to discuss issues around a cease-fire.”
The talks involve the Shiite Houthi rebels who have seized Yemen’s capital and many other regions, and the internationally recognized government of President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi, which is now in exile in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis are leading a campaign of airstrikes against the rebels aimed at restoring Hadi to power. After almost three months of bombing, there are more than 1 million displaced Yemenis, according to the UN.
At this week’s talks, the parties expressed “divergent views” but also offered proposals “which we can build on in the coming days in order to get a permanent agreement,” Ould Sheikh Ahmed said. He said UN proposals included sending a small number of observers to help ensure that any cease-fire is respected once it is agreed.
For more, read this QuickTake: Yemen's Fault Lines