00:58 GMT23 February 2020
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    ST PETERSBURG (Sputnik) - The Yemeni government is prepared to hold talks with Houthi rebels to resolve the ongoing crisis, yet the rebels should agree to participate in the upcoming consultations in Sweden without preconditions, Yemeni Ambassador to Russia Ahmed Salem Wahishi told Sputnik.

    "The Government of the Republic of Yemen affirms its approval to participate in any upcoming consultations in order to achieve a lasting peace in Yemen based on the agreed references," Wahishi said.

    The Yemeni authorities also emphasized the need to exert pressure on the Houthis to make them participate in the UN-led negotiations unconditionally, calling on the international community to take a firm stance against any attempt of the rebels to disrupt the consultations again.

    The statement has been made after UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths announced last week that both the Yemeni government and the Houthis, officially known as the Ansar Allah movement, were committed to attending the consultations, which the envoy said would reconvene in Sweden shortly.

    READ MORE: US Has Chance to Push for Progress on Yemen Given Riyadh's Weakness — Scholars

    The talks in Sweden will follow the UN attempt to hold peace consultations in Geneva in September, which was abandoned as Houthis said they were prevented from leaving Yemen. The claims were denied by the Saudi-led coalition which controls the airspace over Yemen since March 2015.

    Yemen has been gripped by a civil war between the government and the Shiite Houthi movement since 2015. The government is backed by the Saudi-led coalition that has been carrying out airstrikes that target areas controlled by the Houthis since March 2015.


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    peace, talks, Houthi, United Nations, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
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