Middle East

Ex-Yemen president’s party says accepts peace terms

The party of Yemen's former president, a main player in the messy, months-old civil war, said in an emailed statement that it accepts a peace plan brokered by the United Nations in talks in Oman.
The General People's Congress (GPC) is the party of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, to whom many of the army units fighting alongside the northern Houthi militia against forces backed by Gulf states remain loyal.
"An official source at the General People's Congress reiterated the party's fast position on ending hostilities and raising the blockade and on a peaceful solution to Yemen's crisis," the party said in the statement.
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, supported by a Saudi-led military coalition and allied to local militias, has ruled out an agreement until the Houthis and Saleh's forces implement a UN resolution by quitting cities and surrendering arms.
However, he has also said his government would join the UN-sponsored talks if the Houthis publicly accepted the resolution.
The GPC said in its statement that any implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2216 must take place "in accordance with operational mechanisms agreed upon by all parties", implying that a wider agreement should come first.
The Gulf-backed forces have in recent weeks pushed the Houthis and Saleh's forces out of Yemen's second city Aden, retaken swathes of the south and mounted an offensive in the Marib area east of the capital Sanaa.
The Gulf countries and Hadi have repeatedly said they do not trust Saleh or the Houthis to implement peace agreements because they believe them to have reneged on previous political deals since the start of a 2012 transition from Saleh's rule.
International aid agencies and the UN have raised alarm over the humanitarian cost of Yemen's civil war, both from fighting that has killed more than 5,000 people, and from a coalition blockade they say has brought the country close to famine.

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