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UN Invites Yemen Government And Houthis To Peace Talks

A handout picture released by the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on April 21, 2016, shows a general view of the various delegations taking part in U.N. brokered Yemen peace talks, in Kuwait city. UN-brokered peace talks.
Geneva, Aug 17, 2018 (AFP) -

The United Nations has invited Yemen's government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels to Geneva next month for talks on resolving the country's civil war, a spokeswoman said Friday.

"I can confirm that the Office of the Special Envoy sent out invitations to the government of Yemen and to Ansarullah," UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci told reporters.

Ansarullah, which means Supporters of God, refers to the Houthi rebels group that has been battling the Saudi-backed internationally recognized government in a conflict that has killed nearly 10,000 people since 2015.

The UN's Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths has said the talks due to open on September 6 will be aimed at charting a path forward to revive UN-backed negotiations which broke down in 2016.

Vellucci said she had no information on whether representatives from Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- another key government backer -- had also been invited to Geneva.

Yemen's government has said it has low expectations for the talks, blaming the Huthis for refusing to make concessions.

The UN has repeatedly described Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.