Kuwait negotiations over Yemen reach "final stop" but "peace talks continue"

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Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheik Ahmed. UN Photo/Elma Ocik

The UN-facilitated peace talks over Yemen that have been taking place in Kuwait since April have reached a "final stop", it was announced on Saturday.

But UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed promised that peace talks will now enter a "new phase" where the focus would be on talking to the warring sides separately "to crystalize precise technical details."

Matthew Wells reports.

The talks were convened by the Special Envoy after a ceasefire was declared between the Saudi-led coalition backing President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, and the opposition Houthi rebels, who have the reported backing of Iran.

Civil war since early 2015 has left more than 6,500 dead, many civilians and at least 14 million Yemenis are food-insecure.

In his statement this weekend, the UN negotiator said that there would be a month-long break, in order to give the parties time to consult with their respective leaderships.

He blamed the end of the Kuwait phase of talks on a "deficit in trust" adding that "we must continue to urge the parties to initiate a series of confidence-building measures."

The envoy said he was "here to sound the alarm" for everyone involved in Yemen's increasingly dire conflict, and tell them there was "no economic solution except through a lasting political solution."

The suffering of the Yemini people through war, was being compounded by a faltering and dangerously unstable economy he added, and he urged the two sides to unify their efforts towards a durable peace, in one of the Middle East's poorest countries.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'02"

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