a condition the U.K. said had been a key hurdle at peace talks that collapsed in September

thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
ON NOV. 10, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION announced that the U.S. would stop refueling Saudi warplanes engaged in the bombing of Yemen, a move hailed by some as a sign that U.S. support for the Saudi project, in its fourth year, is waning. Three days later, the Saudis provisionally agreed to allow evacuation of some wounded from among the rebels they’re fighting, a condition the U.K. said had been a key hurdle at peace talks that collapsed in September. As global concern rises over Yemen’s fate, is progress finally being made toward peace?

From Time Magazine
Hi. I don’t quite make sense of the underlined part. If this condition has thwarted the peace talks, why the author hints that the progress might be made toward peace?

Thank you for your help.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The U.K. previously said they would talk peace "only on this condition: that Saudis allow evacuation of some wounded". The Saudis have now agreed to that condition, so progress can be made.

    It was the Saudis' refusal to agree to that condition, that was a hurdle in the past.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you very much. I understand now.
    The U.K. previously said they would talk peace "only on this condition: that Saudis allow evacuation of some wounded". The Saudis have now agreed to that condition, so progress can be made.

    It was the Saudis' refusal to agree to that condition, that was a hurdle in the past.
    How do you infer that from the text?:)
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I inferred it from logical thinking, not from the grammar of the sentence. I agree that the sentence does not make that clear. It assumes the reader understands the subject matter.

    It also assume the reader figures out that "condition" does not have its most common meaning (a situation), but instead means "a condition of the negotiation" (a demand that one side insists on). It took me a little bit of time to figure that out. After I figured that out, the sentence made sentence to me.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    The U.K. previously said they would talk peace "only on this condition: that Saudis allow evacuation of some wounded".
    But note (importantly) the "condition" had been stipulated by the Yemeni Houthis, not the UK government; from the above, it might look (wrongly) as though "they" refers to the UK government.

    The UK government spokesman was reporting that the Saudis, who had previously refused the condition set by the Houthis, now accepted it.
     
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