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Sunday, 19 September 2021

Yemen FM '99%' sure of peace talks this month

AFP , Tuesday 22 Mar 2016
Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi speaks to the media after the Yemen peace talks in Switzerland in Bern December 20, 2015 (Reuters)

Yemen's foreign minister said on Tuesday he was confident that UN-brokered peace talks would take place in Kuwait by the end of this month.

Asked if the discussions would happen before April, Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi replied that he was "99 percent" sure that the talks would go ahead.

On Monday, a Yemeni government official told AFP that the peace negotiations would also be accompanied by a ceasefire in the war-torn country.

Mikhlafi's confirmation came as he attended the Al-Jazeera Forum in the Qatari capital.

"We are going to go to these peace talks and we will say we are ready to go anywhere and we are hopeful that we are going to reach a solution," he had said at the conference on Monday.

Yemen has been gripped by violence since September 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels stormed Sanaa and forced the internationally recognised government to flee south.

Mikhlafi's comments come almost a year since a Saudi-led coalition launched a military campaign in support of the Yemeni government.

The World Health Organization says fighting in Yemen has killed almost 6,300 people, half of them civilians, since March 2015.

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