KUWAIT CITY, May 11, (Agencies): Yemen’s subcommittees dealing with UN-sponsored peace talks concluded their discussions Wednesday, on issues ranging from a political solution to the conflict, security and the plight of prisoners and detainees.
The committee dealing with the issue of prisoners and detainees discussed proposals of the release or exchange of prisoners, in a gesture of goodwill. Moreover, the subcommittees have agreed to form local committees representing the warring sides, tasked with uncovering the number and fates of those detained, sources monitoring the talks told KUNA.
Meanwhile, the political committees have made progress towards a political transition, but “significant” differences still remain, the sources added. On Tuesday, the parties reached a preliminary agreement on the release of 50% of detainees prior to the holy month of Ramadan. It is expected that a statement by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad will be released later on Wednesday, with an update on the progress of the peace talks. South Korea thanked on Wednesday Kuwait for hosting the current peace talks between the conflicting parties in Yemen which had started last April 21. This came out in a joint statement at the conclusion of the visit of Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah to South Korea.
The joint statement expressed the two countries’ concern over turbulent Middle East crises such as those in Iraq and Syria and vowed continuing bilateral consultations regarding these and other relative issues. Further, the two sides agreed to boost their cooperation on issues of international peace and order within the UN and other world organizations and to expand bilateral visitations by the two nation’s lawmakers.
The Kuwaiti side expressed its thanks to S. Korea for its efforts at furthering world peace and security, recalling its contribution to the liberation of Kuwait in 1990 by having sent South Korean troops to come to the aid of Kuwait. Meanwhile, a suicide bomber killed at least three people and wounded 12 on Wednesday in an attack on the convoy of a senior military commander who survived the assault, President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s state-run news agency reported. A security official put the death toll in the attack near the city of al-Qatan at eight and said that 17 other people were wounded, including the commander of the First Military Region, General Abdul- Rahman al-Halili, who suffered minor injuries.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Islamist militants from al Qaeda and Islamic State have repeatedly carried out attacks against Yemeni military and security forces in southern and eastern Yemen in recent months. Halili, who was on his way to inspect Yemeni government forces when the attack took place, later visited wounded soldiers at Seyoun hospital and vowed to keep pushing to “uproot this malicious plant from our midst”.
The state-run news agency said that one soldier and two civilians died in the attack. The agency did not say whether Halili was wounded. A local security official put the death toll at eight, including two civilian passersby, and said Halili was injured.