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Ex-Yemen FM says no magic spell to solve conflict

Yemen's Former Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani holds a press conference following the peace consultations taking place at Johannesberg Castle in Rimbo, north of Stockholm, Sweden, on 13 December 2018. [JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images]
Yemen's Former Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani holds a press conference following the peace consultations taking place at Johannesberg Castle in Rimbo, north of Stockholm, Sweden, on 13 December 2018. [JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images]

Yemen's former Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Yamani said there is no magic spell to solve the country's conflict, stressing that the current peace initiatives offered to the internationally-recognised government and the Houthi group are as realistic as they can get.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat news site, Al-Yamani said solving the Yemen conflict "depends on the convergence of the will of all Yemenis, political parties, civil society, and the new forces that resulted from the conditions of the protracted Yemeni war."

"If all these forces do not come together to stop the vicious cycle of violence and end the fighting, no one in the world will be able to stop this crazy war," he added.

"Yemen's millennia-spanning history is linked to compromises and conciliations," he stressed.

He denounced the Houthis' battle to control the city of Marib, which he says has so far resulted in the killing of at least 6,000 Houthi fighters.

"Is this what they want… a homeland built on skulls and blood?!" he asked.

Impoverished Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

The war, in which the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) back the Saudi-led coalition, has killed more than 100,000 people and pushed millions to the brink of famine, according to the United Nations (UN) official data.

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