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US urges Houthis to negotiate with Yemen’s government

US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking called on the Iran-backed rebels to "seize this unprecedented opportunity" to sit down with the Yemeni government.
Huthi forces take part in funeral ceremony for Yahya Al-Shami, assistant supreme commander of the Houthi forces, a day after his death due to Covid-19 pandemic, in Yemen's capital Sanaa on April 27, 2021.

WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday urged Yemen's Houthi rebels to negotiate with the country's Saudi-backed government to resolve the near-decade-long civil war. 

US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking said he is optimistic about prospects for progress in Yemen, where an informal truce between the warring parties has largely held despite its expiration after six months in October 2022. The period of relative calm has created additional negotiating space to end the bloodshed, now in its ninth year. 

Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Houthis expelled the internationally recognized government in 2014, and seized the capital, Sanaa, along with much of the country’s north. In 2015, Saudi Arabia led a military coalition including the United Arab Emirates that intervened to restore the exiled government led by Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. 

The fighting that ensued has killed hundreds of thousands of people (either directly or through malnutrition and disease), brought Yemen to the brink of famine and created what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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