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In shift, Saudis seek political solution for Yemen port

Hoping signs of progress in talks with Houthi rebels come to fruition, Riyadh is now looking away from military plans and considering a political solution to take a strategic Yemeni Red Sea port.
A ship is docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad - RTX32F02

WASHINGTON — Amid signs of possible progress in negotiations with Yemen's Houthi rebels, the Saudi-led coalition is now looking for a political solution rather than a military operation to take Yemen's Red Sea port of Hodeidah, former US officials who work on Yemen said.

The possible breakthrough could avoid a military escalation to take the Houthi-held strategic port that some US and UN experts feared could exacerbate famine in Yemen after two years of civil war have made millions of people dependent on humanitarian aid.

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