'Yemen government ready for talks with Houthis', says vice-president

'Yemen government ready for talks with Houthis', says vice-president
Yemen's Vice-president Khaled Bahah has said that the government is ready to talk with Houthi rebels, as the UN warns of militias seizing aid earmarked for besieged Taiz.
2 min read
25 November, 2015

Yemen's government have said that they are willing to take part in peace talks with Houthi rebels and forces loyal to do former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemeni Vice President Khalid Bahah made the comments during a meeting with UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

"The Yemeni political leadership represented by Yemeni President Hadi and members of the government are ready to participate in the UN-sponsored talks with the [Houthi] militia and deposed [president] Saleh to stop the war operations in Yemen as soon as possible," he said.

The UN envoy said that militias linked to the Houthis were also ready for talks.

He added that the government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi wanted a final solution that would ensure the return of security, stability, and legitimacy to all parts of the homeland."

Pro-Hadi forces back by a number of Yemeni militias and Gulf armies have been trying to take back the country from fighters loyal to Saleh and the Houthis. 

The UN have accused both sides of targetting civilians in the war.

On Tuesday, the UN accused Yemen's Houthi rebels of blocking and diverting deliveries of aid to the country's third city of Taiz, where some 200,000 people are living under siege.

Government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition have been battling since September to push the therebels out of Taiz as part of their campaign to recapture the capital Sanaa farther north.

"Houthi and popular committees are blocking supply routes and continue to obstruct the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid and supplies into Taiz city," said Stephen O'Brien, the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

Trucks carrying aid are blocked at checkpoints and "only very limited assistance has been allowed in," he added in a statement.

O'Brien said it was "unacceptable" that some of the aid destined for the city's needy was being diverted away from those people.

Some 200,000 people are in need of drinking water, food, medical treatment and other life-saving assistance in Taez, a "deeply concerned" O'Brien said.

Yemen descended into chaos when the Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign in March to push back the advance by the Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

More than 5,700 people have been killed in the fighting while 82 percent of the population - 21 million people - are in urgent need of aid.

UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has been hold talks for weeks with all sides to try to launch peace talks, but no date has been set for the negotiations.