.
.
.
.

Mattis: Yemen peace talks set for early December in Sweden

Published: Updated:

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that peace talks between Yemen’s warring parties are likely to take place in early December in Sweden.

Western countries are pressing for a ceasefire and renewed peace efforts to end the more than three-year long conflict.

UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Friday that Yemen’s parties have given “firm assurances” they are committed to attending peace talks he hopes to convene in Sweden before the end of the year.

“It looks like very, very early in December, up in Sweden we’ll see both the Houthi rebel side and the UN recognized government,” Mattis told reporters.

An attempt to hold peace talks in Geneva in September was abandoned after three days of waiting for the Houthi delegation.

Griffiths was in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Wednesday and was due to visit Hodeidah on Thursday, United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Hodeidah port handles 80 percent of the country’s food imports and aid supplies.

“He seeks to finalize the arrangements in the lead-up to the talks in Sweden and to revisit a UN supervisory role for the port and to draw attention to the continued need for a pause in the fighting,” Dujarric said.