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Yemen says waiting for peace talks invite, expectations low

By AFP - Aug 15,2018 - Last updated at Aug 15,2018

Government soldiers man a checkpoint, at a neighbourhood the army took over, after clashes with armed militants in Taiz, Yemen, Tuesday (Reuters photo)

GENEVA  — Yemen’s ambassador to the UN said Tuesday that his government had not yet been invited to peace talks planned for next month, but that it was open to attending despite low prospects for success.

“We are waiting for the invitation,” Yemen’s envoy to the United Nations in Geneva, Ali Majawar, told reporters.

The UN’s peace envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, told the Security Council earlier this month that he wants to host warring parties in the Swiss city on September 6.

Majawar underscored that in the two weeks since Griffiths announced the talks, the UN has not shared any details, including on the crucial issue of whether the government and rebels would be asked to meet face-to-face.

The government is waiting for clarity from Griffiths “on the mechanism and contents of the consultations,” Majawar said.

The war in Yemen has triggered what the UN has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since March 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition intervened to support President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government against the Houthis.

The last attempt at UN-brokered talks broke down in 2016 amid demands for a rebel withdrawal from key cities and power-sharing with the Saudi-backed government.

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