Yemen exiled government says no peace talks with Huthis yet
RIYADH - Yemen's exiled government will not agree to peace talks with Huthi rebels until they implement a United Nations Security Council resolution requiring they quit cities and hand over captured weapons, Vice President Khaled Bahah said on Tuesday.
The United Nations had hoped all Yemeni parties, including the Huthis and the Riyadh-based government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, would join talks in Geneva later this month to try to end months of fighting.
"I think we are going at the end to sit with the Huthis, but we are not going to sit with the Huthis without (their) implementation of (U.N. Security Council resolution) 2216," Bahah told reporters on the sidelines of talks in Riyadh.
"It has to be implemented as a good sign first." A statement issued after three days of talks between Yemeni political parties in Riyadh made no mention of the proposed Geneva talks, but instead called for military aid for groups fighting the Huthis and for international intervention.
A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing the Huthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh since March 26 to dislodge the rebels from areas they captured over the past year, including the capital Sanaa, and restore Hadi.
However, the Huthis and Saleh's forces remain entrenched across western Yemen, where most of the population lives, and the fighting has contributed to a humanitarian crisis in what was already the Arab world's poorest country.