Yemen saudi arabia.jpg
Photograph: EPA/STRINGER

UN-brokered peace talks between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels and their allies kicked off Thursday evening in Kuwait city.

A Yemeni diplomatic source told dpa that the warring parties will discuss security measures, the armed factions’ withdrawal and the handover of their weapons to the state, as well as the reinstatement of public institutions and the resumption of political dialogue.

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said during the opening session that resolving the crisis in Yemen requires concessions from all parties, adding that there should be no delay in peace negotiations for the war-torn country.

A delegation of Iran-backed Houthi rebels had arrived in Kuwait earlier in the day to attend the talks, which were scheduled to start three days ago.

A team representing the Saudi-allied Yemeni government has already been already in Kuwait since Sunday.

The talks were postponed on Monday after the rebels stayed away.

At the time, the Houthis accused the government of violating a UN-brokered ceasefire that went into effect on April 10.

Both warring factions have since accused each other of breaching the truce. 

Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni allies launched airstrikes against the mostly Shiite rebels in March 2015 after they advanced on the southern city of Aden, forcing President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi to flee the country.

Hadi, a Sunni, now lives in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh fears that Yemen's rebels will give its regional rival Iran a foothold in the Arabian Peninsula.

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

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