The Houthi’s failure to come to Geneva for the first talks in three years was “the elephant in the room”, but did not signify the peace process was deadlocked, UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths said, Reuters reported.
Griffiths, who held three days of talks with a delegation from Yemen’s former government, said he would meet in coming days with the Houthi leadership in Sanaa and Muscat, Oman.
“They would have liked to get here, we didn’t make conditions sufficiently correct to get them here,” Griffiths told a news conference, declining to elaborate.
The Houthi group said on Friday it was still waiting for the United Nations to guarantee that the flight carrying its delegation to Geneva would not be inspected by Saudi coalition forces and could evacuate some of its wounded.
Griffiths, referring to peace processes, said on Saturday: “A restart is a very delicate, fragile moment. People are coming at a time when perhaps all of their constituencies are not fully engaged and don’t see ahead of time results that will come out of talks.
“So I don’t take this as a fundamental blockage in the process,” he added.
The two sides held their last UN-sponsored negotiations in Kuwait in 2016 in a bid to hammer out a “power-sharing” deal but they fell apart after the Saudi-backed side left the venue.
Yemen has been in turmoil since 2015 when former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi stepped down and then fled to Riyadh.