Yemeni government confirms participation at peace talks | News | DW | 19.11.2018
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Yemeni government confirms participation at peace talks

The government backed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries has said it will send delegates to UN-backed peace talks. The last set of peace talks in September failed after Houthi rebels failed to show up.

The Saudi Arabia-backed government of Yemen confirmed on Monday that it would take part in peace talks sponsored by the United Nations.

The government also called on the UN to "pressure" Yemen's Houthi rebels to attend the talks without conditions.

The announcement coincided with a speech by Saudi Arabia's King Salman in which he reiterated his country's support for the UN efforts to end the war.

The Iran-backed Houthis have fought a three-and-a-half-year-war with the Yemeni government and an alliance of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia.

Read more: US calls for end to fighting in Yemen amid famine fears

Peace efforts

UN envoy Martin Griffiths is set to travel to Yemen finalize arrangements for peace talks in Sweden. Both sides had previously given "firm assurances" to him that they would attend.

On Sunday, Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi called on rebel fighters to stop attacks against the Saudi-led coalition and said the group was ready for a ceasefire.

Attempts to hold peace talks in September failed after Houthi representatives failed to show up.

Fighting has intensified recently around the port city of Hodeida, sparking fears that millions could face starvation in the event of a blockade.

More than 10,000 people have died in the war, according to official figures, but activists say the actual death toll could be far higher.

amp/msh (AFP, dpa)

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