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Kerry: US working with KSA to end Yemen crisis

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The US is working with Saudi Arabia, UAE and the UN to start peace negotiations between Yemen’s government and the Houthis, said US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry said the US was working “very hard” to help negotiate a solution to the crisis in Yemen through the UN.
Speaking to reporters in Sri Lanka, Kerry said it was not inevitable that Yemen would become a failed state.
“I will not say yet that the verdict is in on what Yemen is going to be because we are trying very hard, working with the UN, working with our friends in the region,” he said.
“We are working hard to secure a negotiated process through the UN which will bring the parties together,” he said.
“We are having discussions over the course of every day right now in order to push toward this and our hope is that the UN process may be able (to) actually take hold before too long,” Kerry added.
The diplomat was in Colombo for talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.
Kerry also expressed hope that more aid can reach Yemen while the Saudi-led air campaign tries to restore the legitimate government of President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Yemen.
His comments came after the UN Security Council failed Friday to back a Russian appeal for an immediate cease-fire in Yemen.
Russia had requested an urgent meeting of the 15-member council.
Gulf states have already stressed that talks on ending Yemen’s conflict be brokered by the regional body and held in Riyadh rather than a neutral venue as sought by Iran.

 In a statement after they met on Thursday in Riyadh, GCC foreign ministers affirmed their “support for intensive efforts by the legitimate Yemeni government to hold a conference under the umbrella of the GCC secretariat in Riyadh”.

Diplomats in New York said that UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed will travel to Gulf states soon for talks on advancing prospects for a return to peace negotiations.
Ahmed was appointed as peace envoy for Yemen on April 25.
Top UN official Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council that the visit will take place as part of UN efforts to jump-start negotiations, diplomats said.
Talks collapsed after Shiite Houthi rebels went on the offensive.
Ahmed was appointed to replace Jamal Benomar.

Arab News