U.N. hopes Yemen peace talks can start by month-end

U.N. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson called on all sides to attend talks without pre-conditions

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U.N. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said on Thursday he hoped U.N.-backed peace talks to end the conflict in Yemen could start by the end of October.

Eliasson, speaking to a Geneva news conference after talks in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, called for both Houthi fighters and the exiled Yemen government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to attend the talks without pre-conditions.

“We have been disappointed before, Geneva talks started but not much came out of it,” he added.

Eliasson, noting that a U.N. verification mechanism to inspect commercial ships heading to Yemen was in place, said the United Nations was in talks on ending the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen and opening more ports in Yemen to allow in fuel and other supplies.

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