The Pro-Saudi Hadi government, which controls parts of southern Yemen, has agreed to attend a new round of UN-brokered peace talks, to be held with the Shi’ite Houthi faction and unspecified international factions.
The Hadi government has spurned several recent efforts at peace talks, most recently a high-profile September effort brokered by Oman. Hadi backed out of the talks a few days prior, insisting that any participation was conditional on the Houthis surrendering all cities and disarming.
The last time Hadi delegates actually attended talks was in June, when they refused to be in the same room with the Houthi delegates throughout. The only time they were in the same room was when Hadi delegates attacked a Houthi press conference, sparking a fistfight.
It’s unclear what sparked the Hadi side to agree to talks this time, though in recent days they’ve tried to spin Houthi comments supportive of the peace process as proof they’re close to surrendering outright. The Houthis, by contrast, have been saying they support a peace process all along, so they may be setting themselves up for disappointment.