Friday 14 December 2018
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business-standard - 8 days ago

Yemen war rivals double down as UN talks open

Yemen s government and rebels, locked in a devastating war for years, traded mutual accusations Thursday as they sat down for hard-won talks the United Nations described as difficult but critical . The talks in Sweden are the first in two years in a conflict which has pushed impoverished Yemen to the brink of mass starvation. While the days leading up to the talks looked promising, with the government and rebels agreeing on a prisoner swap deal and the evacuation of wounded insurgents for medical treatment in Oman, the atmosphere between the two sides was tense as the talks opened. Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani, who heads the Saudi-backed government s delegation to the UN-sponsored talks, told AFP his team would follow through with a planned prisoner swap with the Huthi rebels. But he refused to compromise on the flashpoint city of Hodeida, home to Yemen s most valuable port. The Huthi militias must withdraw from the city of Hodeida and its port and hand it over to the .

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