The Yemenis kickstarted a marathon of consultations that included most of the war-torn country’s parties, components, and personalities, amid Yemeni, regional, and international optimism. Talks sought drafting a roadmap that would move Yemen from the state of war to peace.
While diplomats and officials affirmed that holding intra-Yemeni consultations is a positive step in the right direction towards achieving comprehensive peace in the country, participants at the talks considered the Gulf invitation as an opportunity reflecting the interests of Yemen that should not be neglected.
In his opening speech at the talks, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Nayef Al-Hajraf emphasized that the Riyadh Agreement represents a roadmap and a Yemeni national entitlement, where the completion of its items is a Yemeni requirement.
Al-Hajraf stressed there is no solution but the peaceful one, and that the war with all its hardships cannot realize the envisioned security and stability, expressing hope for the consultations to mark the start of a year of relief for people.
The secretary general said that intra-Yemeni consultations with their six axes (political, economic and development, relief and humanitarian, social, and media aspects) represent a platform for Yemenis to diagnose the reality and understand its difficulties, predict the future and prepare for its challenges and plan practical steps that move Yemen from the state of war and woes to the state of peace and hopes.
Al-Hajraf said that the success of the consultations is not an option rather a duty that requires all to feel the national responsibility and discard all reasons of division and domestic differences and to effectively contribute to realizing the required and urgent national reconciliation necessary to build a clear future map to restore stability in Yemen and achieve the development and welfare of its people.
He praised international community efforts for ending the conflict in Yemen and valued the Saudi-led Arab Coalition’s call for a ceasefire.
Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hussein Ibrahim Taha said dialogue is the only way to resolve the eight-year conflict in Yemen.
“The Yemeni people have the right to aspire to a decent life and a better future,” he added.
For his part, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said that there is an urgent need to support a comprehensive solution in Yemen, pointing to the importance of cooperation with regional organizations to contribute to solving the Yemeni crisis.