UN-backed Yemen peace talks set to begin in Sweden

Published: December 06, 2018 11:14:10 | Updated: December 07, 2018 10:32:15

A member of the Houthi delegatio nparticipating in the negotiations in Sweden departs from Sanaa airport, Yemen December 4, 2018 - REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

UN-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending nearly four years of civil war in Yemen are due to begin in Sweden.

A UN team will work alongside delegations from the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels at Johannesbergs castle outside Stockholm to enable informal talks due to last a week.

The war has caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis in recent times.

Thousands of people have died in fighting and millions have been pushed to the brink of starvation.

Consultations are resuming for the first time since 2016. The last attempt at a negotiated peace collapsed in September when the Houthis failed to show up in Geneva, says a BBC report.

What will happen?

The latest talks are not expected to deliver a breakthrough. Correspondents say the key aim of this round is to prevent an all-out battle for the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hudaydah where thousands of civilians are trapped.

The UN also hopes to come up with a framework for talks on what a future political solution in Yemen will look like.

Officials said the talks - which are expected to last a week - would be informal, through working groups.

"On some issues it will make sense for the two sides to sit together, on others they will discuss in separate groups," one source told the BBC.

Representatives of the internationally recognised government - which is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition - flew to Sweden on Wednesday. A day earlier, UN special envoy Martin Griffiths had accompanied the Iranian-backed Houthis to Stockholm.

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