UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations envoy to Yemen will return to Saudi Arabia to meet with members of the exiled Yemeni government after it pulled out of U.N.-mediated peace talks with its Houthi adversaries, the U.N. press office said on Monday.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy on Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, plans to head back to Riyadh for “further consultations with the government of Yemen, other Yemeni stakeholders and states in the region and address outstanding concerns,” the U.N. statement said.
“There is no military solution to the conflict,” it added. “All sides to the conflict must engage urgently and in good faith in the search for political solutions at the negotiating table with a view to bringing an end to the fighting in Yemen.”
Loyalists of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi have been battling the Iran-allied Houthis across Yemen since March, when the group forced him and his administration to flee to Saudi Arabia.
Yemen’s exiled government pulled out of the talks on Sunday as troops from the Saudi-led coalition that is seeking to restore it took part in ground fighting in a central province for the first time.
The exiled government’s official news agency Saba said it would not join the U.N.-mediated peace talks until the Houthis accepted an April U.N. Security Council resolution calling on them to recognize Hadi and quit Yemen’s main cities.
The Yemen conflict has developed into a proxy war reflecting Saudi and Iranian rivalry for regional influence. In the meantime, U.N. officials say Yemen’s humanitarian crisis is worsening with each passing day.
Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by James Dalgleish
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