US in talks with Houthi rebels on 'ending Yemen war'
The US is holding talks with Houthi officials in a bid to end to war in Yemen, a top official has announced.
"We are narrowly focused on trying to end the war in Yemen," Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker told reporters during a visit to Saudi Arabia.
"We are also having talks to the extent possible with the Houthis to try and find a mutually accepted negotiated solution to the conflict."
It is the first direct contact between US government officials and the Iran-aligned Houthis in over four years.
US officials held brief talks with Houthi leaders in June 2015, shortly after the rebels took over Sanaa driving the government south.
In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen against the Houthis driving the country to the brink of famine.
Talks in Geneva failed to the war to an end and thousands have been killed in fighting and Saudi airstrikes.
The war has the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN.
Meanwhile a separate conflict between UAE-backed southern separatists and the Saudi-backed government is also raging.