The second day of Geneva peace talks on Yemen have come and gone with little to show for them, as fighting continued to rage across Yemen, with Saudi warplanes bombarding Shi’ite targets across Yemen and pro-Saudi troops seizing a base in Maarib.
The ceasefire which was to start Monday and later got pushed back to Tuesday has not amounted to any real decrease in fighting, and the talks, which officials were presenting as the first serious effort to settle the nine month war, have simply seen the pro-Saudi officials reiterating demands for Houthi surrender.
The UN, which has severely limited media access to the talks, is trying to spin everything as going at least comparatively well, and is touting a deal to allow humanitarian aid into the city of Taiz as proof of progress, though throughout the war we have seen that nominal permission to send aid is not the same as allowing the boats full of aid to actually dock in Yemeni ports.
Indeed, the pro-Saudi officials seem to be over the whole talks thing entirely, and their public comments are less and less about the effort or the flagging ceasefire and more trumpeting their military gains on the ground, a sign they may be back to believing, as they have for the past nine months, that the easiest route to a “settlement” us outright military victory.
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