Iran welcomes Yemen peace talks

TEHRAN (AA) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday welcomed UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden this week between Yemen’s warring rivals.

In a statement, the ministry called on Yemeni rivals to take confidence-building measures with a view to reaching a settlement to the conflict.

Iran “underlines the necessity of facilitating the process of delivering humanitarian aid to Yemen and maintains that it is the world’s historic responsibility today to make efforts to end humanitarian crisis and catastrophe in the Arab country,” it added.

“Iran now once again stresses that there is no way-out of the Yemen crisis other than a political solution based on Yemeni-Yemeni talks,” the ministry said.

Representatives of the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels are set to meet in Sweden this week for UN-sponsored talks aimed at ending the four-year conflict in the impoverished country.

Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Houthi rebel group overran much of the country and the crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

Saudi Arabia and Sunni allies accuse the Houthis of acting as a proxy force for Shia Iran.

Tens of thousands of people, including civilians, are believed to have been killed and the UN estimates that around 14 million Yemenis are at risk of famine.