Geneva, June 19 (IANS) United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the UN-brokered peace talks on Yemen ended on Friday without reaching an agreement but he believed a ceasefire could be achieved in future talks.
Ahmed stressed that though the talks which started on Monday were of a preliminary nature, “there is no doubt that there is ground ready to declare a ceasefire accompanied by a withdrawal”, Xinhua quoted him as saying.
Amid continued violence and a worsening humanitarian crisis, the special envoy also highlighted the importance of reaching a humanitarian truce as quickly as possible as the holy month of Ramadan commences.
“I will make every effort, indeed double my efforts in the next few days to achieve that,” Ahmed said, adding that the Geneva consultations are not the end in itself, but rather “the launch of a long and arduous path towards a transitional political phase”.
“We didn’t expect that a single meeting would allow us to overcome all the obstacles,” the envoy said, adding that “we have seen positive signs especially in the responsiveness to certain things like the Security Council Resolution 2216”.
No specific date is set for further consultations to take place according to Ahmed, who said that it is the Yemenis who will make the final call “as these are Yemeni consultations”.
The special envoy also strongly condemned the latest series of terrorist attacks on June 17 in the Yemeani capital of Sana’a in an overnight message received by the press on Friday morning.
Four car bombing attacks against the Shia Houthi group in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa killed at least 18 people and wounded dozens on Wednesday.
The Islamic State (IS) said in a statement posted on Twitter that its soldiers used four car bombs in the attacks against the Houthi sites, one outside the office of the Houthi political bureau, the highest decision-making body, in northern Yemen, and the rest near three mosques where Houthi followers were praying.
The blasts happened when the Saudi-led coalition forces carried out airstrikes against the Houthi group as delegates in Geneva achieved no breakthrough after the week-long peace talks.
Besides that, UN agencies also reported on Friday that 80 percent of Yemen’s population, representing some 21 million people, is in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.
The UN-led Geneva Consultations on Yemen, or Yemen Consultations, began in Geneva on Monday with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon meeting with the Yemeni delegation that came from Riyadh representing the government.