US, Houthis holding talks in Oman: Yemeni government
Houthi fighters rally in the Yemeni capital city Sanaa, March 26 2015. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)
Leaders from Yemen’s opposition Houthi movement are engaged in talks with US officials in Oman to push forward a political solution to the crisis in Yemen, figures from Yemen’s exiled government told Reuters Sunday.
“We have been informed that there are meetings, at American request, and that a private American plane carried the Houthis to Muscat,” Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Reuters from exile in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
He added that the Yemeni government was not partaking in the talks in the Omani capital.
Meanwhile, UN special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has launched renewed efforts to set a new date for Yemeni political factions to meet in Geneva for peace negotiations.
The Geneva talks were postponed indefinitely after exiled Yemeni President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi demanded the Houthis withdraw from occupied cities as a condition for negotiations.
Shiite Houthi opposition forces seized a number of territories across Yemen after they stormed the capital Sanaa in September 2014.
A Saudi-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes since March 26 against Houthi positions within Yemen, in an effort to exiled Yemeni President Hadi to power.
Hadi fled the country in March and remains in exile in Saudi Arabia.
UN reports say nearly 2,000 people have died in the conflict since March 19, and civilians face devastating food and fuel shortages.