April 18-24: Little progress made during talks following 3-day postponement

Monday, April 18The peace talks that were set to begin in Kuwait on Monday were delayed after the Houthi delegation failed to arrive. A senior Houthi official told Reuters that "there's no point in going...if there's no respect for the ceasefire." Both sides have been accused of breaking the ceasefire that began on April 11.

Official Houthi spokesman Muhammad Abdelsalam explained that the absence of Houthi representatives at the Kuwait talks was due to coalition airstrikes, in violation of the ceasefire, and the lack of any UN condemnation of these strikes. Abdelsalam accused the UN of being unable to put forth a clear agenda that would make a final solution to the conflict possible, adding that the Houthis “will not go [to the talks] to recognize that the other party is the legitimate ruler of Yemen.”

Tuesday, April 19 Talks were postponed for a second day as the UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged participation in good faith from all parties.

Wednesday, April 20 Houthi representative Mahdi al-Mashat announced on Facebook that a delegation would be traveling to Kuwait on Wednesday to participate in the peace talks, adding that the Houthis “reserve the right to suspend participation if the promises are not kept."

Thursday, April 21 After a three-day delay, talks between the Houthis and the Hadi government began in Kuwait. The negotiations are based on UN Security Council resolution 2216 which calls for Houthi fighters to withdraw from seized territory and hand over their weapons to the government, conditions that the Houthi delegation is unlikely to agree to.

In line with an order from the UN, all of former president Saleh’s assets in Turkey have been frozen, according to the Official Gazette. Although the value of his assets in Turkey was not revealed, UN investigators estimate that during his rule, Saleh amassed up to $60 billion (equivalent to Yemen's annual GDP) and transferred much of his wealth to foreign accounts under fake names.

Friday, April 22 Peace talks resumed for their second day, with Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond saying that “only a political solution can bring an end to the conflict,” while urging the return of “Yemen’s legitimate government.”

Saturday, April 23 Saudi and Emirati forces launched an operation along with local Yemeni fighters to push al-Qaeda out of the southern port city of Mukalla. This marks a turning point in the coalition’s military operations, as most campaigns have targeted the Houthis rather than AQAP.

Sunday, April 24 UN Special Envoy Ould Cheikh Ahmed decided to suspend Sunday's session of Yemen's peace talks due to a lack of progress. The Houthis claim to have the upper hand in negotiations and therefore want more of a say in the government, while the Hadi government insists that the Houthis hand over their weapons and pull out of major cities.

The coalition’s offensive against al-Qaeda continued early on Sunday, with Saudi and Emirati airstrikes providing cover for on-the-ground fighters. Forces reportedly entered eastern Mukalla, driving out al-Qaeda militants. The death toll on both sides is still unclear. Some view this offensive as an attempt by the Saudis to gain control of southern Yemen, while others believe it was prompted by Obama’s recent visit to Riyadh where he may have expressed concerns that the Saudi-led war in Yemen is empowering al-Qaeda.