Yemeni government to attend talks with Houthis

Yemeni government ready to attend talks with Houthis and allies to end ongoing civil war

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A boy shouts slogans as he takes part in a demonstration against Saudi-led air strikes outside the United Nations offices in Yemen's capital Sanaa October 18, 2015.

A Yemeni government spokesman announced on Sunday that the government of Abed Rabbuh Mansur Hadi will attend UN-led talks with Houthis and their allies including former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The talks between Yemen's Saudi-backed government and Iran-backed opposition are aimed at ending of months of civil war in Yemen that has killed more than 5,400 people.

The Yemeni government has been saying since mid-September that it is ready to join UN-led talks, but only if its Houthi adversaries publicly accept a resolution, calling on them to recognise the Yemeni president and quit Yemen's main cities.

"The decision has been taken to attend [the talks] and a letter will be sent to the UN secretary-general [about that]," government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Reuters.

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has been in Saudi Arabia for discussions with Yemeni President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi and other senior Yemeni officials over the talks.

Talks in June in Geneva between the Yemeni Government and the Houthis failed to produce an agreement.

The UN reports that Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab peninsula, is suffering from a lack of humanitarian aid exacerbated by a Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports.

The conflict between the Shiite Houthis and Sunni tribes spread to Yemen's capital Sanaa by mid-2014.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a military intervention since March to restore the Hadi’s government, which is currently based in Aden, as well as fend off what it views as creeping Iranian influence.

The Saudi-led coalition conducted air strikes which mistakenly hit pro-government forces that were stationed in southern Yemen on Saturday.

The air strike killed at least 30 people and wounded 40 in Waziya, an area between the provinces of Taez and Lahj.

TRTWorld and agencies