Today, delegations from Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s ousted government and Mohammed Ali al-Houthi’s rebels meet in Stockholm, under the auspices of
Today, delegations from Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s ousted government and Mohammed Ali al-Houthi’s rebels meet in Stockholm, under the auspices of the UN.
A similar summit was scheduled for September in Geneva, but it failed to come to fruition when the Iran-backed Houthi contingency refused to meet. Uncertainty swirled around this week’s meetings, but the Houthi delegation finally arrives after being guaranteed a safe return to Sana’a.
Today’s summit will be a preliminary attempt at peace, as the warring parties have not had diplomatic relations in over two years. However, substantive measures to end the protracted conflict remain difficult to envision.
Mr Hadi’s Saudi-backed government has not had legitimate authority on the ground in Yemen since 2015, while the Houthi rebels have shown no intention to back down from the conflict. Indeed, despite constant Saudi airstrikes and a catastrophic famine, the Houthi power base in north and west Yemen remains strong.
Given that there have been no meetings between the sides since 2016, today’s summit would be viewed as a major success if an agreement to a second meeting is reached. At this point, though, prospects for peace in the near future are unlikely.
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