‘Peace is possible’ in Yemen, US State Department says

‘Peace is possible’ in Yemen, US State Department says

WASHINGTON,. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday praised UN-brokered talks aiming to end Yemen’s devastating conflict, saying “peace is possible.”

“The work ahead will not be easy, but we have seen what many considered improbable begin to take shape,” he said in a statement released hours after Yemen’s warring parties agreed to a ceasefire in the vital port of Hodeida on the final day of peace talks.

“The United States commends participants from the Yemen consultations in Sweden for making progress on key initiatives,” Pompeo said. “The end of these consultations can be the beginning of a new chapter for Yemen.”

If implemented, the deal on the Hodeida port, a key gateway for aid and food imports, could bring relief to a country where 14 million people stand on the brink of famine.

But the week-long peace talks left a number of key issues unresolved.

A new round of talks is scheduled for the end of January, with analysts predicting the US will continue to up the pressure on ally Saudi Arabia, a key backer of the Yemen government, to end the conflict.

Impoverished Yemen has been mired in fighting between Iran-backed Huthi rebels and troops loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi since 2014.

But the war escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition stepped in on the government’s side. — AFP