Yemen peace talks likely to be held in Geneva in mid November: UN Officials

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GENEVA : The UN special envoy for Yemen said he was confident that peace talks between the government and Shiite rebels will "probably" be held in mid-November in Geneva . Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed told AFP his team was in contact with the Yemeni parties to discuss the modalities of the UN-brokered peace talks. "I am very optimistic" that the talks will take place "between 10 and 15" November or "around November 15", he said. "We are 90 percent agreed that they will be in Geneva , but there is also a possibility of Muscat. It will probably be Geneva ," said Ould Sheikh Ahmed. He stressed that the two sides were being positive, "both the Huthis who have shown a lot of flexibility, as well as the government side. Today there is an optimism on which I would like to capitalise." On statements from Riyadh that Saudi-led military operations in support of the Yemeni government are nearing an end, the UN envoy said: "I am convinced that they are sincere." Yemen has since March, when the coalition launched air strikes, been wracked by a conflict that has claimed nearly 5,000 lives, according to the UN . A first attempt to hold peace talks in Geneva collapsed in June without the warring parties even sitting down in the same room.

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