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Yemeni Consensus Exceeds Expectations at Riyadh Consultations

Yemeni Consensus Exceeds Expectations at Riyadh Consultations

Friday, 1 April, 2022 - 05:15
Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Negotiations at the GCC, Dr. Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Aweisheg speaks to the media in Riyadh on Thursday. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Yemeni parties taking part at the Riyadh consultations have shown great consensus and keenness on the future of their country.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is sponsoring the talks at its Riyadh headquarters. They kicked off on Wednesday and will conclude on April 7.

Dr. Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Aweisheg, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Negotiations at the GCC, said the consensus and agreement displayed by the Yemeni parties have "exceeded expectations".

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said the Iran-backed Houthi militias still have time to join the consultations.

Other groups still have the opportunity to join after they encountered obstacles that hindered their arrival in Riyadh.

"We hope that they can make it and they have the window to do so before the end of the week," he said.

"The Houthis have been invited. Their presence helps them and helps Yemen unite ranks," said Al-Aweisheg.

"If they choose to attend, then they are welcome. If they choose not to, then the Yemeni parties already present represent 90 percent of Yemen's political society and they will come up with positive recommendations."

He offered a summary of the second day of the consultations. Discussions were "very fruitful and everyone pledged to work together for the future of Yemen," he added.

Thursday's talks tackled political, economic, security, social, relief and media aspects of the situation in Yemen.

The consultations focused on assessing the current state of affairs.

"We were surprised by the consensus between the parties and their keenness on Yemen's future," Al-Aweisheg went on to say, noting that the discussions were "friendly and cooperative."

Next week, international organizations will begin expressing their views at the talks, he revealed.

"We hope this spirit of consensus and cooperation will continue," he said.

The talks will resume on Sunday. They will tackle the challenges at hand. On Monday, participants will meet with the entire legitimate Yemeni government.

On Tuesday, they will again discuss the issues that were tackled during the first week, and recommendations will be made on Wednesday and Thursday.

Ahmed al-Saleh, one of the participants in the political track, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the second day of the consultations took place smoothly in spite of the differences between the parties.

He said the moderation of the dialogue was organized and everyone had the chance to frankly express their position.

Everyone was understanding of all differences and disputes. They exercised patience, especially over longstanding disputes, he added, while noting the "very promising" chances of reaching consensus on major pending issues.

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