Yemen peace talks in Geneva collapse

Geneva, June 19 (IANS) The Yemen peace talks in the Swiss city of Geneva have collapsed with the foreign minister of the government-in-exile blaming the Houthi representatives for refusing to meet with them.

Foreign Minister Riad Yassin said on Friday that his delegation plans to leave the negotiations and return to Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Al Jazeera reported.

“Until this time we have not achieved anything. Unfortunately, still the Houthis have not complied with anything,” Yassin said.

Yassin said that Houthi representatives have even refused to leave their hotel in Geneva.

This comes even as the US appealed on Friday for $1.6 billion to help the millions of people in need of aid in the war-torn country, warning of a “looming catastrophe”.

The money was needed to address the “constantly increasing humanitarian needs in Yemen” until the end of 2015, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN’s humanitarian agency, told reporters in Geneva.

He said more than “21 million people, or 80 percent of the population, is now estimated to be in need of some form of humanitarian aid”.

Tensions between the warring Yemeni sides spilled over at a news conference in Geneva on Thursday when a shoe was thrown at the head of the Houthi delegation, Hamza al-Houthi, an act that is particularly insulting in Arab culture.

The journalist who threw the shoe said she was seeking to vent her anger at the Houthis.

“I am willing to lose my career as a journalist but not watch you kill our people every day, then come and attend a peace conference,” she said.



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