Saudi Arabia invites Houthi delegation to Riyadh for Yemen ceasefire talks

Move is part of efforts to reach a sustainable political solution acceptable to all parties in the war-ravaged nation

Mahdi Al Mashat, head of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, with Saudi ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber in Sanaa earlier this year. Saba News Agency
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Saudi Arabia has invited a Houthi delegation to Riyadh for talks on a Yemen ceasefire.

The kingdom wants to resume joint efforts with Oman to “reach a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen and a sustainable political solution acceptable to all Yemeni parties”, state news agency SPA reported.

Mohamed Al Houthi, head of the Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, said late on Thursday that talks were continuing between Sanaa and Saudi Arabia, with Oman mediating.

The discussions include salary payments for Yemeni employees, the opening of airports and ports, the release of prisoners and detainees, the exit of foreign forces and “reconstruction leading to a comprehensive political solution”, he said.

A delegation left Sanaa and was on its way to Riyadh to take part in the negotiations, the Houthi's al-Masirah TV reported earlier on Thursday.

The trip is the first official visit by Houthi officials to the kingdom since the Yemeni war broke out in 2014, after the Iran-aligned group ousted a Saudi-backed government in Sanaa.

The first round of talks, which are running in parallel to UN peace efforts, was held in April when Saudi envoys visited Sanaa.

The Houthis have been fighting against a Saudi-led military alliance since 2015 in a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and left the majority of Yemen's population dependent on humanitarian aid.

The peace initiatives have gained momentum since Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to re-establish ties in a deal brokered by China.

Updated: September 15, 2023, 4:19 AM