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Yemen talks conclude with no deal

June 20, 2015

UN-brokered talks between warring factions in the Yemen conflict have ended in Geneva. Despite the UN envoy's efforts to secure a humanitarian ceasefire, no deal was reached.

Jemen Friedensgespräche in Genf
Image: Getty Images/AFP/P. Coffrini

UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced on Friday that there had been no agreement between warring factions at the Geneva talks.

"I won't beat around the bush. There was no kind of agreement reached," Ahmed said in a statement.

The Mauritian diplomat told reporters that there were "certain positive signs" in the negotiations, adding that both parties signaled agreement on the need for a ceasefire.

The talks were initially proposed to secure a ceasefire that would allow organizations the opportunity to deliver much-need humanitarian aid.

"We feel that is requires simply some further consultations and that we can achieve it pretty soon," Ahmed added.

Riad Yassin, foreign minister of Yemen's exiled government, told reporters that while there was no agreement there was room for further discussions, Reuters news agency reported.

"Unfortunately, the Houthi delegation did not allow us to really reach all progress as we expected…But it doesn't mean that we have failed," he said.

However, a date has not been set for further talks.

'A first step'

Protest Luftangriff Saudiarabien Sanaa Houthi
Houthi rebels seized Yemen's capital of Sanaa in 2014 after demanding representation in the governmentImage: Reuters/K. Abdullah

Meanwhile, Hamza al-Houthi, head of the rebel delegation, lashed out at Saudi Arabia for undermining the talks.

"We do not say that the Geneva conference failed, but rather it was a first step, and there were acts of obstruction that were clear and systematic at ensuring that no clear results come out of this conference," al-Houthi said at a news conference on Friday.

"There is clear and systematic obstruction from the aggressors, at the head of them Saudi Arabia, and this obstruction is aimed at ensuring that the Yemenis don't come out with clear solutions and so that the aggression continues and the siege on the Yemeni people continues," al-Houthi said.

The talks came on the heels of increased international pressure for a resolution. More than 1,000 civilians have been killed since a Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthi rebels began late March, according to UN figures.

ls/cmk (AFP, AP, Reuters)