Yemen government team heads to peace talks with Houthis

Yemeni government representatives were expected to join a Houthi (Ansarallah) delegation in Sweden on Wednesday (December 5th) for high-stakes peace talks, AFP reported.

A 12-member team from the government headed by Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani left Riyadh early Wednesday, a day after Houthi delegates landed in Stockholm, accompanied by UN envoy Martin Griffiths.

The first Yemen talks since 2016 are widely seen as the best chance yet for peace, as the international community throws its weight behind resolving the conflict.

The government delegation had delayed its departure until the Iran-backed Houthis had arrived in Stockholm after they failed to show up for the last UN bid to convene peace talks in September, sources close to the government told AFP.

The Houthis flew in on a Kuwaiti plane from Sanaa on Tuesday, accompanied by Griffiths.

Their arrival followed two major confidence boosts -- a prisoner swap deal and the evacuation of 50 wounded insurgents from Sanaa, which is held by the Houthis, for treatment in Oman.

Although no date has been announced for the start of the negotiations, Yemeni government sources said they could begin as early as Thursday.

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