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Iran backs Yemen peace talks, state TV says

Houthis soldiers in Yemen [File photo]
Houthi soldiers in Yemen [File photo]

Iran backs UN-sponsored peace talks in Yemen, state media reported earlier today, with Tehran stating that it was ready to help find a political solution to the conflict.

“Iran welcomes the talks in Sweden … Tehran is ready to help international talks to end the crisis and underlines the importance of accelerating providing humanitarian aid to the people,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The peace talks are set to resume in Stockholm this week with delegations from the Iran-allied Houthis and the Yemeni government, backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, reportedly set to be in attendance.

However scepticism around the proposed negotiations remains, after previous talks broke down in September after Saudi Arabia refused to allow a Houthi delegation to fly to Geneva to attend the meeting. The evacuation of the wounded fighters has been a key condition of the Houthis to attend the upcoming round of talks.

Pressure to bring the war in Yemen to an end has risen in recent months amid a worsening humanitarian crisis that has resulted in the deaths of some 85,000 children due to malnutrition, according to Save the Children.

Yemen FM: Houthis want war, reject peace

The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, widely regarded as having been ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, has also increased support for cutting ties with the Kingdom.

Last week, the US senate voted in favour of a bill to end American support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, a move largely seen as a showdown between the White House and Senate, which have been tiptoeing toward a standoff over Saudi Arabia for more than a year.

Finland, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have also recently announced that they will be cutting arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa. In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled government.

Since the coalition intervened in 2015, Yemen has become the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the UN. Some 10,000 people have been killed in the war, while more than 11 per cent of the country’s population has been displaced.

Twenty-nine million civilians are in need of humanitarian aid while 14 million are at risk of famine as a result of the war and subsequent sieges which the Saudi-led coalition has imposed on a number of cities in an effort to starve and fore Houthi fighters out of them.

Yemen central bank expecting $3 billion to prop up stricken economy

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