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Yemen peace talks to start on Thursday in Sweden

Published: Updated:

Peace talks between Yemeni government representatives and the Houthi militias’ delegation will begin on Thursday in Sweden, the UN announced.

"The (UN special envoy) would like to announce the restart of the intra-Yemeni political process in Sweden on 6 December 2018," UN envoy Martin Griffiths’ office tweeted.

A 12-member government delegation, led by Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani, arrived in Stockholm Wednesday evening, one day after the militias’ delegation flew in from Sanaa -- accompanied by the UN envoy.

The talks mark the first meeting between Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and Houthi militias, linked to Iran, since 2016, when 106 days of negotiations yielded no breakthrough.

The Houthis were meant to attend talks in Geneva organized by the special envoy, but ended up not going after rejecting an offer to be transported by a Omani plane to Geneva.

The Sweden meeting follows two major confidence-boosting gestures between the warring parties -- a prisoner swap deal and the evacuation of 50 wounded militants from the capital for treatment in Oman.