MIDDLE EAST

Houthis call Saudi, UAE to join peace talks in Sweden

Houthi delegation at the ongoing peace talks in Sweden said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates should also be represented during the negotiations in order to end the war in Yemen.

Salim al-Mukhlis, a Houthi representative who spoke to rebel group's Al-Masira TV, indicated that to maintain peace in Hudaydah, Taiz and other regions, Saudi Arabia and the UAE should also be represented during the ongoing peace negotiations in Sweden.

UN-backed peace talks between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels kicked off Thursday in Sweden.

Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Houthi rebels overran much of the country and the crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

Saudi Arabia and Sunni allies accuse the Houthis of acting as a proxy force for Shia Iran.

Tens of thousands of people, including civilians, are believed to have been killed and the UN estimates that around 14 million Yemenis are at risk of famine.
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