UN: Yemen peace talks to begin Thursday

UN-brokered Yemeni peace talks, which were originally scheduled to begin Monday, are expected to open Thursday in Kuwait, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday.

The peace talks aimed at resolving the conflict between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels were postponed after delegations representing the rebels and their allies failed to appear Monday.

"The Yemeni peace negotiations will start tomorrow in Kuwait under the auspices of the United Nations," Dujarric said in New York.

An official in Sana'a airport, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that delegations representing the Houthis and the General National Congress of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose troops have backed the rebels, left for the Omani capital Muscat earlier Wednesday en route to Kuwait.

The government's negotiating team meanwhile said that it would be compelled to leave Kuwait if the talks did not begin Thursday morning.

The Houthis would bear full responsibility for the failure of the negotiations in that case, the government delegation said in a statement carried by the official Saba news agency.

The talks were due to follow a ceasefire that went into effect on April 10, but both sides have accused each other of breaching the halt to fighting.

Saudi Arabia and allies launched an air campaign against the rebels in March 2015 after they advanced on the government's last strongholds in the south of the country.

The UN and aid agencies have warned that the conflict threatens a humanitarian disaster in Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries even before the war.

Last update: Wed, 20/04/2016 - 21:03

More from World

Libyan forces claim control of last Islamic State stronghold

Forces aligned to Libya's UN-backed national unity government Monday said that they had gained full control of Sirte...

Uzbek prime minister elected president after longtime ruler's death

The prime minister of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has been elected president with more than 88 per cent of the...

Judge orders Michigan officials to begin election recount on Monday

Election officials in the US state of Michigan have been ordered by a federal judge to begin a massive hand recount...

Turkish EU minister calls for opening of new accession chapters

Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik called for the opening of two new accession chapters in Turkey's bid to join...

Russian plane crashes attempting to land on carrier near Syria

A second Russian warplane has crashed while attempting to land on an aircraft carrier off the coast of Syria,...