MOSCOW, Dec 3 : Russian Ambassador to Yemen Vladimir Dedushkin on Monday commended the parties to Yemeni conflict for agreeing to take part in the upcoming peace talks in Sweden.
"It is gratifying that both parties to the conflict confirmed their readiness to arrive in Sweden at the set time and take part in the negotiation process. [UN] Special Envoy [Martin Griffiths] has managed to organize preparatory events," Dedushkin told reporters. The ambassador noted that the meeting will "approximately" take place on December 5-14 and will be held near the town of Uppsala, which is not far from Stockholm.
Earlier in the day, Mukhtar Rahbi, an adviser to the Yemeni minister of information, told Sputnik that the delegations of Yemen’s government and of the Houthi movement will hold "individual" consultations at the peace talks in Sweden rather than direct negotiations, and will focus on "building confidence."
Fadl Abu Talib, a member of the political bureau of the Houthi movement, told Sputnik last week that the Houthi delegation might arrive on December 6, and the talks would last 7-10 days.
The Yemeni government and the Houthi movement were expected to hold UN-backed talks in Geneva in September, but the Houthi delegation did not attend them, citing security concerns.
Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels for several years. The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015.
The UN-led attempts to find a peaceful settlement to the conflict have not succeeded so far. The fighting has recently intensified near the Houthis-controlled city of Al Hudaydah, through which the rebels receive humanitarian and commercial cargoes. The Yemeni government, in turn, claims that the port city is receiving weapons from Iran.
The conflict has led the country to a dire humanitarian situation, with civilians suffering extreme food shortages and disease outbreaks as well as direct impact from the military operations.