Yemeni Government Ready to Continue Peace Talks With Houthis at Any Time

© REUTERS / Khaled AbdullahSmoke billows from a site hit by Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen's capital Sanaa January 30, 2016
Smoke billows from a site hit by Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen's capital Sanaa January 30, 2016 - Sputnik International
Yemen's Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Mekhlafi said that the Yemeni government is ready for negotiations with the Houthis rebels.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Yemeni government is prepared to continue peace talks with the Houthi rebels at any time, Yemen's Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Mekhlafi told Sputnik Friday.

On Thursday, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheik Ahmed told Sputnik that a date for the restart of the Yemeni peace talks could be announced by the end of March.

"We took part in the round of Geneva talks held in the Swiss town of Biel, and scheduled January 14 as the date for resuming the talks. Since then, we have been ready to attend talks any time and any place. Meanwhile, the other side did not commit itself to arriving on that agreed date or on any other date," Mekhlafi said.

The first round of UN-brokered talks between Yemeni government representatives and Houthis took place in December, but Yemen’s warring factions have been unable to agree to a ceasefire.

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The Houthis have failed to fulfill the it commitments agreed upon in December, such as releasing prisoners, improving the humanitarian situation, as well as ending the siege of Taiz and other cities, according to Mekhlafi.

All of these conditions must be fulfilled prior to any further peace talks, he said, adding that members of the international community, such as Russia and the United States, should take a common view on the Yemeni conflict.

Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government and Shiite Ansar Allah movement, also known as Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since late March, a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi positions at Hadi's request.

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