Houthis still welcome to join Yemen talks in Riyadh, says GCC official

A Shi'ite Houthi fighter sits behind sandbags near a checkpoint in Sanaa December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

DUBAI, March 31 (Reuters) - An invitation for Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis to join Yemeni talks in Saudi Arabia remains on the table, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) assistant secretary-general Abdulaziz Al-Aweisheq said on Thursday.

The Houthis, who are battling a Saudi-led coalition, had welcomed the decision to convene Yemeni parties for talks but said the group would only participate if the discussions were held in a "neutral" country.

The week-long consultations, being held under the aegis of the Riyadh-based GCC, began on Wednesday, during a week that saw both the Houthis and the coalition announce temporary unilateral truces in the seven-year war.

Reporting by Nadine Awadalla, Mahmoud Mourad and Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Ghaida Ghantous and Gareth Jones

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