Yemen’s high profile peace talks in Sweden are set to open, but already look to be on the brink of collapse, with both sides lashing out at one another, and Houthi officials openly questioning whether the talks are even serious and worth pursuing.
The big stumbling block is that, having finally gotten both sides to the table to discuss a settlement of the multi-year war, the pro-Saudi Hadi government reiterated the same demands they had at the start of the war, insisting that the Houthis unconditionally disarm, and cede the city of Hodeidah to them.
The Houthis are being a bit more modest in their goals, focusing on trying to get the Sanaa International Airport reopened to civilian traffic. They’d also like Hodeidah to remain open to aid, though that’s a matter the UN is already pushing hard for without them.
Though every side went into these talks expressing support for a peace process that would end the war, the Hadi government has continued to make it clear their demands are an unconditional victory, and as ever that is putting a roadblock in front of serious efforts to start making a permanent deal.