Nearly two months into the Kuwait-based Yemen peace talks, the pro-Saudi faction, the Hadi government, is once again threatening to quit the peace process, accusing the Shi’ite Houthis of “rejecting peace” for not giving in to their demands.
Details are scant in the latest reports, but from previous Hadi government comments, a big likely stumbling block is their continued insistence that the end goal of the talks is a full Houthi surrender of territory and full, unilateral disarmament by them before any discussion of grievances takes place.
Diplomats have cited ongoing distrust on both sides of the talks, but the near-term Hadi demand is for the Houthis to scrap the February 2015 dissolution of parliament, which followed after the January 2015 resignation of President Hadi.
Hadi resigned, roughly a year after his 2-year term in office was already over, amid demands from the Houthis and other factions to pave the way for free elections. Hadi was “elected” in a UN-imposed process in which no opposition was allowed.
With Hadi having already resigned a year and a half ago, and his official term in office expired even before that, the Hadi government’s claims to continue to be the “legitimate” rulers of Yemen have been contested, and their reliance on older UN Security Council resolutions declaring them such suggests that they believe Hadi’s two-year term basically lasts forever.
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