Yemen's exiled leader calls off peace talks with rebels

Hadi refuses to negotiate with Houthis unless rebels accept UN resolution obliging them to give up seized territories.

    Yemen's exiled leader calls off peace talks with rebels
    The United Nations estimates that Yemen's conflict has killed more than 4,500 people since March [Reuters]

    Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has backed out of the planned UN-brokered talks with Houthi rebels, his office has said.

    In a statement released on Sunday, Hadi said that there would be no talks with the Houthis until they accept a UN resolution that obliged them to withdraw from areas they seized and surrender weapons taken from state institutions.

    The peace negotiations were scheduled for later this week as more than five months of war have ravaged the impoverished country.

    On Saturday, Saudi-led coalition warplanes heavily bombarded rebel positions across the Yemeni capital, Sanaa witnesses said.

    The strikes targeted arms depots and military camps in the rebel-held areas of Sanaa.

    Warplanes also struck the presidential residence in Sanaa's southeast and nearby arms depots, witnesses said.

    In the eastern Marib province, where the coalition has been focusing its operations in recent days, pro-government military sources said air strikes hit two separate rebel convoys.

    Military officials on the Saudi border told the AFP news agency that 20 more coalition military vehicles crossed into oil-rich Marib, following at least 40 similar vehicles a day earlier.

    The reinforcements are being sent in preparation for an offensive to retake the capital, seized by the Shia Houthi fighters a year ago.

    The United Nations estimates that Yemen's conflict has killed more than 4,500 people since March.

    SOURCE: AFP And AP


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