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Yemen says waiting for peace talks invite, expectations low

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Geneva (AFP)

Yemen's ambassador to the UN said Tuesday that his government had not yet been invited to peace talks planned for next month, but that it was open to attending despite low prospects for success.

"We are waiting for the invitation," Yemen's envoy to the United Nations in Geneva, Ali Majawar, told reporters.

The UN's peace envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, told the Security Council earlier this month that he wants to host warring parties in the Swiss city on September 6.

A Yemeni government source, who requested anonymity, told AFP on August 3 that it would attend.

Majawar underscored that in the two weeks since Griffiths announced the talks, the UN has not shared any details, including on the crucial issue of whether the government and rebels would be asked to meet face-to-face.

The government is waiting for clarity from Griffiths "on the mechanism and contents of the consultations," Majawar said.

"In my personal opinion, they will be very difficult consultations... We don't think the Huthis will make any compromises to help the talks to go forward," he added.

The war in Yemen has triggered what the UN has described as the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since March 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition intervened to support President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's government against the Huthis.

While all sides have been accused of major violations, global outrage in recent days has focused on the coalition after it carried out an air strike on a bus that killed 40 children in the rebel-held north.

The last attempt at UN-brokered talks broke down in 2016 amid demands for a rebel withdrawal from key cities and power-sharing with the Saudi-backed government.

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