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U.N. says working for Yemen peace talks after Kerry's plan

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GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Friday it was working with Saudi Arabia to try to bring Yemen’s government to peace talks after it rejected a plan brokered by the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that the Saudi-led coalition, that backs the government in its fight against the Houthi group, supported a ceasefire plan that the Houthis have agreed to.

But President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s administration rejected Kerry’s move, complaining that it played into the hands of the Houthis and sidelined the government.

“We are working very closely with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region that can influence (the parties to the conflict),” U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told a news conference in Geneva.

“We have discovered a stronger and stronger view that this war must come to an end but we have to bring them back to negotiating table,” he said, giving no timeline.

The Houthis said on Wednesday they were ready to stop fighting and join a national unity government, raising hopes of a resolution to a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Robin Pomeroy