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Yemen peace talks

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September 6, 2018 -- Yemen’s warring factions are to meet in Geneva in a UN-brokered bid to kickstart peace talks. Preventing a full-scale assault on the strategic port city of Hodeida could be a path to a comprehensive agreement.

The talks, overseen by United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, will likely focus on a prisoner exchange deal as well as the fate of the embattled Red Sea port city.

Griffiths will conduct shuttle diplomacy between Houthi rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi and Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s president, living in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Hodeida has been under siege by United Arab Emirate forces since mid-June and has become the front line in the Yemeni conflict which has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

The Houthis have reportedly offered to let the UN supervise aid operations at Hodeida, but the UAE has blocked the move.

The port is a lifeline for the 22 million Yemenis dependent on humanitarian aid and is also the point of entry for three-quarters of the country’s commercial imports.

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