Kuwait emir urges Yemen negotiators to achieve peace

Updated 26 April 2016

Kuwait emir urges Yemen negotiators to achieve peace

KUWAIT CITY: The Kuwaiti emir met with Yemen’s peace negotiators Tuesday and urged them to forge ahead with a peace agreement to end 13 months of war in the impoverished Arab nation.
A source close to the talks in Kuwait City meanwhile said the two sides finally approved a general framework for the talks and were set to start looking into the central issues.
State-run KUNA news agency said Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah met with the rebel and government delegations separately and also received UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, but provided no details.
“We heard from the emir of Kuwait clear assurances with regard to supporting the political process to reach a settlement,” said Mohammed Abdulsalam, head of the Houthi delegation.
The emir warned that war can only lead to more devastation and bloodshed, Abdulsalam wrote on Facebook.
A source close to the government delegation said Sheikh Sabah “urged the two sides to reach a political settlement.”
Following the meeting with the emir, a new session of talks was held, a UN spokesman told AFP.
The UN Security Council on Monday urged all sides in the negotiations to be constructive.
The 15-member council stressed the importance of agreeing on a “roadmap” to implement security measures including the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed on Monday welcomed “tangible progress” to end hostilities in the war-torn country.
“Reports indicate real improvement in the situation which reflects the parties’ commitment to the cessation of hostilities,” he said in a statement at the end of the fifth day of negotiations.


Lebanon not expecting new aid pledges at Paris meeting

Updated 10 December 2019

Lebanon not expecting new aid pledges at Paris meeting

  • The political impasse returned to square one on Sunday when a tentative agreement on a new PM unraveled
  • Lebanon has also been in a political impasse since Saad Al-Hariri quit as prime minister on Oct. 29

BEIRUT/PARIS: Lebanon does not expect new aid pledges at conference which France is hosting on Wednesday to press for the quick formation of a new government that can tackle an acute financial crisis.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged Lebanon to create a new government swiftly or risk the crisis worsening and threatening the country’s stability.
The economic crisis is the worst since the 1975-90 civil war: a liquidity crunch has led banks to enforce capital controls and the Lebanese pound to slump by one third.
Lebanon has also been in a political impasse since Saad Al-Hariri quit as prime minister on Oct. 29, prompted by protests against the ruling elite, with no agreement on a new government.
Nadim Munla, senior adviser to Hariri, who is running the government as caretaker, told Reuters the Paris meeting would probably signal a readiness to offer support once a government is formed that commits to reforms.
“They will recognize that there is a short-term problem and that if and when a government (is formed) that basically responds to the aspirations of people, most probably the international community will be ready to step in and provide support to Lebanon, or additional support,” he said.
“It is not a pledging conference.”
Lebanon won pledges of over $11 billion at a conference last year conditional on reforms that it has failed to implement. The economic crisis is rooted in years of corruption and waste that have generated one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens.
The political impasse returned to square one on Sunday when a tentative agreement on a new prime minister unraveled.
Hariri is now seen as the only candidate for the post.
He has said he would only lead a cabinet of specialist ministers, believing this is the way to address the economic crisis, attract aid, and satisfy protesters who have been in the streets since Oct. 17 seeking the removal of a political class blamed for corruption and misrule.
But Hezbollah and its allies including President Michel Aoun say the government must include politicians.
“Let’s see the coming few days and if there will be an agreement among the political parties on a formation ... otherwise we might take longer,” Munla said. Hariri would be willing to have politicians in cabinet but they should not be “the regular known faces of previous governments.”