Britain's Hunt says real prospect for Yemen peace talks but situation still desperate

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud meets with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 12, 2018. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

RIYADH (Reuters) - British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt on Tuesday said prospects for talks to end Yemen’s nearly four-year-old war were “more real” after Saudi Arabia confirmed its willingness to evacuate 50 wounded Houthi fighters to Oman for medical treatment.

“It is a desperate humanitarian situation and so I impressed on everyone the urgency of the situation we’re facing,” he told Reuters in an interview after meeting leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in a trip to both countries’ capitals.

Hunt also said he believes there will be “rapid progress” in bringing to justice the people responsible for last month’s murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and expects to hear something about those legal proceedings “quite shortly”.

Reporting By Stephen Kalin; editing by Clive McKeef