Alwaght- Delegations from Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and the country’s former Saudi-backed regime are holding UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden in an effort to find a political solution to end the Arab country’s crisis.
The Saudi-backed delegation represents the government of ex-Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
The UN's Special Envoy Martin Griffiths has appealed to Yemen's warring sides to "act now" for the future of the country.
"Yemen's future is in the hands of those in this room. We must act now before we lose control of the future of Yemen," he said.
"Both parties have called for a de-escalation, which is an important backdrop to these talks. This is a show of serious intent."
The UN Special Envoy is seeking to introduce a set of confidence-building measures at the talks in Rimbo, a remote town around 50km north of the Swedish capital Stockholm, that will eventually pave the way for future negotiations.
The push gained momentum due to a global outrage directed at the Saudi regime over the gruesome assassination in early October of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which is being widely blamed on the architect of the Yemen war, Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman.
Under growing international pressure, Riyadh and its allies ultimately submitted to Ansarullah’s demands and returned to the negotiating table for the first time since 2016 in the hope of finding a way out of the war, which has failed to achieve its objectives of reinstalling Hadi and undermining the Ansarullah movement.
The Saudi-led offensive, coupled with a naval blockade, has destroyed Yemen's infrastructure and led to famine in the import-dependent state.
About 8.4 million Yemenis are now facing starvation. The number is likely to increase to 14 million. Over 15,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians including women and children have been killed since the onset of the Saudi-led aggression on the country.