Hothis: submit names of delegates to UN Geneva talks

GMT 17:17 2015 Friday ,11 December

Arab Today, arab today Hothis: submit names of delegates to UN Geneva talks

Houthi militia
Sanaa - Arab Today

Yemen's Shiite Houthi group said Friday it handed over the names of its negotiators to the United Nations for the UN-sponsored peace talks due to start in Geneva next week.

"We sent the names of our delegates last night after a draft agenda for the talks had been agreed with the United Nations," the group's spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a statement posted on the group's media.

"We hope the United Nations this time absorb our observations on the talks' agreed agenda in order to contribute to a serious and responsible dialogue," he said in the statement.

On Monday, the UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, declared that he will convene a series of peace talks among the warring parties in Switzerland on Dec. 15, aiming to secure a ceasefire in the war-torn country.

The internationally recognized Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi has informed the United Nations and the coalition command that he would announce an "extendible" seven-day humanitarian ceasefire on Dec. 15 to coincide with the UN-facilitated peace talks.

Hadi said the cease-fire will be extended if the Shiite Houthis and their allies lift siege on Yemen's third largest city Taiz, free detainees and end military actions.

The Shiite Houthi militias and their allied forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh seized control of the capital Sanaa in September 2014 and most half of the northern country.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition backing Hadi's government began air bombing military bases and arms depots of the Shiite Houthi gunmen in March, and later sent in thousands of ground troops from the UAE, Sudan, Qatar and other nationalities to back pro-government forces.

The coalition forces and Yemeni government fighters retook Aden as well as four other southern provinces in July.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in ground battles and airstrikes since then, half of them civilians.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition continued Friday air bombing Houthi targets in several northern provinces, as ground clashes intensified in the southern province of Taiz, according to security officials and residents.

The airstrikes overnight and Friday morning hit Houthi targets in Marib, Hajja, al-Jouf and Saada provinces, according to the officials and residents.

The ground clashes have been escalating in many districts of Taiz, but concentrated in the Red Sea's district of Dhubab where at least 40 Houthi rebels and pro-government fighters have been killed since Thursday over a key military base overlooking a strategic western coast of the Red Sea, the officials said.

Sources: MENA

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