Agencies – United Nations-backed peace talks aimed at ending eight months of rebellion in Yemen will convene on Dec. 15, Yemen’s foreign minister was quoted as saying.
“Consultations on the implementation of Resolution 2216 will be held on Dec. 15,” a TV network quoted Abdel-Malek Al-Mekhlafi as saying in a news flash, referring to a UN Security Council decision calling for Yemen’s Houthi militia to quit major cities.
The peace talk statement was followed by a huge explosion that killed the governor of Yemen’s southern Aden province and six of his bodyguards on Sunday.
Gov. Gaafar Mohamed Saad was traveling to his office on Sunday morning when the explosion struck his convoy in the Rimbaud area of the southern port city. Authorities are investigating the exact cause of the explosion.
On Saturday, masked gunmen on motorcycles carried out separate attacks on vehicles in Aden, killing Col. Aqeel Al-Khodr, a military intelligence official, and Judge Mohsen Alwan, who was known for sentencing Al-Qaeda militants. Three other people were killed in the attack on Alwan.
Earlier on Saturday, UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed met President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi to discuss prospects for peace talks.
Hadi said in a statement he welcomed talks, which are expected to take place in Geneva.
“Despite the suffering and wounds, our hands are always outstretched for peace based on national and humanitarian responsibilities toward our people,” Hadi was quoted as saying after meeting the envoy.
Yemeni Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah called for Yemeni unity and focusing on the goal of getting rid of the coup aggression.
Bahah said that time has come to establish a state of law and order, to correct all the excesses and errors committed by the former regime and focus on ridding the country of Houthi and Saleh militia.
Bahah’s remarks came during a meeting with a number of advisers of the presidency, according to the Yemen News Agency.