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FM: Sweden could host Yemen peace talks

Margot Wallström, Foreign Minister & Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden
Margot Wallström, Foreign Minister & Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden [File photo]

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said yesterday that her country is ready to host the UN sponsored talks between the internationally recognised Yemeni government and the Houthis.

Wallstrom told Swedish radio station TT that the United Nations has asked her country if it would host the warring parties, adding that Stockholm said it “would be happy” to.

“However nothing is definite yet,” she said.

“We must remember that this is the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. We have always supported Martin Griffiths, both in the UN and in the EU,” she added.

The Swedish minister declined to comment on the date of the talks, saying they should begin after the cessation of hostilities.

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Yemen has been in a state of war since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including capital Sana’a.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies – who accuse the Houthis of serving as Iran’s proxies – launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The following year, UN-sponsored peace talks held in Kuwait failed to produce any tangible breakthroughs.

The violence has devastated the country’s basic infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

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