Saudi Arabia invited Yemen’s Houthi delegation to Riyadh to continue ceasefire talks, Reuters reported the state news agency SPA saying yesterday.
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The kingdom wanted to resume its and Oman’s efforts to “reach a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen and a sustainable political solution acceptable to all Yemeni parties,” SPA said.
Mohamed Ali Al-Houthi, head of the Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, said late yesterday that talks were continuing between Sanaa and Saudi Arabia with Omani mediation.
The discussions included “paying salaries of the Yemeni employees, opening airports and ports, releasing all prisoners and detainees, the exit of foreign forces, and reconstruction leading to a comprehensive political solution,” he said.
The Houthi Al-Masirah TV reported earlier yesterday that a delegation left Sanaa and was on its way to Riyadh to continue the negotiations.
The trip will be the first official visit by Houthi officials to the kingdom since the war broke out in Yemen in 2014, after the Iran-aligned group ousted a Saudi-backed government in Sanaa.
The first round of the Oman-mediated consultations between Riyadh and Sanaa, which are running in parallel to UN peace efforts, was held in April when Saudi envoys visited Sanaa.
The group has been fighting against a Saudi-led military alliance since 2015 in a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and left 80 per cent of Yemen’s population dependent on humanitarian aid. The UN has said Yemen is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with 21.6 million people requiring some form of humanitarian assistance.
The peace initiatives have gained momentum since arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to re-establish ties in a deal brokered by China in March this year. A permanent ceasefire in Yemen would mark a milestone in stabilising the Middle East.