Yemen’s Houthis arrive in Saudi Arabia for peace talks

A delegation of Yemen's Houthi has arrived in Saudi Arabia for negotiations aimed at potentially ending the war in the Arab world's poorest nation.

The specific terms under discussion between Riyadh and the Houthis, who have controlled Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, since September 2014, remain undisclosed.

The visit aimed to “reach a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen and a sustainable political solution acceptable to all Yemeni parties,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

In April, a Saudi delegation led by the country’s ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, visited Sanaa and met with Houthi political chief Mahdi al-Mashat.

It was the first public meeting between Saudi and Houthi officials since a war between the two broke out in 2015.

Mashat confirmed that a Houthi delegation would travel to Saudi Arabia with Omani mediators, according to the group’s Saba news agency.

“Peace was and still is our first option and everyone must work to achieve it,” Mashat stated.

Saudi Arabia started a brutal war of aggression against Yemen in March 2015, enlisting the assistance of some of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates.

The war, which has enjoyed generous arms, logistical, and political support from the United States and several other Western governments, has been seeking to restore power in Yemen to the country’s former Riyadh- and Washington-friendly government.

The former Yemeni government’s president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi resigned from the presidency in late 2014 and later fled to Riyadh amid a political conflict with Houthis. The movement has been running Yemen’s affairs in the absence of a functioning administration.

The war has, meanwhile, killed tens of thousands of Yemenis and turned entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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