Yemen peace dialogue set to start in Sweden tomorrow

Deputy Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Garallah said his country is doing everything it can to support the peace talks and argued that a settlement of the conflict in Yemen is a prerequisite for regional stability, and that any future dispensation should include room for friendly relations with Iran on the condition of non-interference by Tehran in internal Arab affairs.

The first Yemen peace talks since 2016 are the best chance yet to end the war, analysts say, as the worldwide community throws its weight behind resolving the devastating conflict.

The first Yemen talks since 2016 are widely seen as the best chance yet for peace, as the global community throws its weight behind efforts to resolve a conflict.

On Monday, UN envoy Griffiths said on Twitter that he was "pleased to confirm" 50 injured Yemenis were to be treated in Muscat and "urged all Yemenis to work together in pursuit of peace and stability".

No date has been announced for the start of the negotiations, but Yemeni government sources said they could begin on Thursday.

UN-backed talks were initially expected to be held in early November in Geneva but failed to materialise when the Houthis refused to leave for Switzerland for fear of being unable to return to Yemen.

The deal was struck by Griffiths, who was in the rebel-held capital Sanaa for meetings already buoyed by the evacuation of the wounded insurgents - a key rebel precondition for the talks.

Rebel official Abdel Kader al-Murtadha confirmed the deal, adding that he hoped it would be "implemented without problem".

But fresh fighting flared on Monday and the coalition spokesman said military operations were "ongoing".

Murtaza also noted that the agreement marks the first step towards resolving the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

The executive director of the U.N.'s World Food Program, David Beasley, said Tuesday that 12 million people suffer from "severe hunger".

Outrage over the October 2 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has intensified worldwide scrutiny of Saudi activities in the region, potentially giving Western powers, which provide arms and intelligence to the coalition, more leverage to demand action.

World powers should put "pressure on the exporters of arms to the aggressors to facilitate the peace process in Yemen and let the Yemeni people decide their country's fate free from the outsiders' interference", the foreign ministry said.

The Houthis hail from what was once an independent northern Yemen and today control the capital, Sanaa, along with the Red Sea city of Hodeida, home to the impoverished country's most valuable port.

Under heavy worldwide pressure, Saudi-backed pro-government forces have largely suspended an offensive launched in June to take the port city. "A stable state, important for the region, can not coexist with unlawful militias".

The resolution demands that the rebels recognise the legitimacy of Hadi's government and withdraw from all towns and cities they had taken, including Sanaa.

Vanessa Coleman

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