Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement says it should directly talk to Saudi Arabia because the kingdom’s current interlocutors in peace talks have no authority of their own.
Last week, Houthis resumed peace talks with representatives of Saudi-backed Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Kuwait after weeks of deadlock.
However, Houthi chief negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam said on Tuesday that the negotiations were a waste of time.
“The opposite side’s problem is that it has no authority of its own and all decisions have to be made by Saudi Arabia,” he told Lebanon-based al-Mayadin television.
Hence, “no time should be wasted in negotiating with Riyadh’s representatives. Rather, we should directly talk to the Saudis,” he added.
Abdulsalam said Saudi leaders have rejected any Yemen solution without their involvement while Ansarullah is opposed to any foreign interference.
The Ansarullah spokesman further dismissed Hadi as a party to peace, saying the former Yemeni president was in favor of the continuation of the conflict.
Hadi on Sunday warned that his side would boycott the talks if the UN envoy insisted on a roadmap stipulating a unity government that included Houthi fighters.
UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has said that this round of talks is the last chance to make peace.
On Sunday, Ahmed said any solution has to be based mainly on the Security Council Resolution 2216 which requires Houthis to withdraw from areas they have been controlling since 2014, including the capital Sana’a, and hand over heavy weapons.
Abdulsalam said the Houthis would hand over their heavy weapons to a government accepted by both sides.
He also said Houthis and their allies in the Yemeni army will cease their attacks on Saudi borders whenever the the kingdom halts its bombings.
About 10,000 have been killed in Yemen since March last year when Saudi Arabia intervened in support of Hadi after he resigned as president and fled the capital.
Another 2.8 million people have been displaced and more than 80 percent of the population urgently needs humanitarian aid, according to UN figures.