On the weekend of June 14, the UN will be hosting peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland on the ongoing Saudi war in Yemen. Both the Saudi-backed government-in-exile and the Shi’ite Houthi faction have today agreed to attend the talks.
Both factions had been hinting at their likely attendance for a few days now, with the Houthis in particular praising the UN’s call for negotiations without preconditions. Today made it official that they will both be taking part, and reports are that former ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh is expected to take part as well.
The US had been urging both sides to join the talks, though indications are that neither the Saudi government nor any of its allies in the war will be taking part. Southern secessionist factions inside Yemen, as well as al-Qaeda, both of which hold territory inside Yemen, have not been invited.
Nearly two months into the Saudi-led war, large numbers of people have been killed, including hundreds of civilians, and little territory has actually changed hands. Earlier on, the government had been demanding a unilateral Houthi surrender for any talks on ending the war, but with a seeming stalemate everyone seems more interested in ending the conflict.
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