World Bulletin / News Desk
The UN envoy to Yemen and President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi met Thursday in the southern city of Aden to discuss a new bid to end the country's conflict, a government official said.
The UN envoy, after meeting Hadi in Aden for the first time, said the visit was a "message of respect" for the president, in videotaped comments sent to reporters.
The aim of his mission was to "return to dialogue and a peaceful solution", Ould Cheikh Ahmed said, reporting "much positivity" from Hadi.
Aden has been serving as Yemen's temporary capital since pro-Hadi forces with support from a Saudi-led Arab coalition recaptured it from Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels last year.
Hadi, who has been based mostly in Riyadh since Yemen's conflict broke out, flew to Aden last Saturday.
The government-run sabanew.net website said Hadi handed the envoy a letter reiterating the government’s rejection of a roadmap presented by Ould Cheikh Ahmed in October, which would see the president eased out of power.
The contents of the peace roadmap have not been made public.
But informed sources say it calls for agreement on naming a new vice president after the rebels withdraw from the capital Sanaa and other cities and hand over heavy weapons to a third party.
Hadi would then transfer power to the vice president who would appoint a new prime minister to form a government in which the north and south of Yemen would have equal representation.
Late last month, Ould Cheikh Ahmed said he has been preparing "for a new round" of peace talks, after a previous round held in Kuwait collapsed in August.
More than 7,000 people have been killed and nearly 37,000 wounded since Yemen's conflict escalated after the Saudi-led military coalition intervened in March 2015 to support Hadi.
On a separate front, Aden has been the target of frequent jihadist attacks claimed by Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group which have expanded in Yemen's south and east.
On Thursday, three Al-Qaeda suspects, including a local leader named Abu Jeni al-Suairi, were killed in an apparent US drone strike on their vehicle in the eastern province of Hadramawt, security officials said.
In Shabwa province, further south, suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen shot dead a retired intelligence officer, Colonel Salem Yusr, as he was left a local market, they said.
Washington regards Al-Qaeda's Yemen-based branch as its most dangerous, and it has kept up a long-running drone war targeting its commanders.
Last Mod: 01 Aralık 2016, 18:25