The Gulf Cooperation Council is considering inviting the Houthis to Saudi Arabia for consultations

Beijing, March 16 (Xinhua) –The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considering inviting Yemen’s Houthis and other factions to Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh later this month for talks aimed at ending the country’s years-long civil war, two Gulf officials said On Thursday.The GCC talks are scheduled for March 29 to April 7, Reuters reported, citing the two officials.The meeting will cover military, political and economic issues in Yemen’s civil war.The GCC is expected to issue a formal invitation to the Houthis within days.Photo taken on the evening of November 1, 2021 shows the Riyadh City Avenue Square in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.According to two officials, GCC secretary-general Nayef Hajilaf invited Houthi officials to his headquarters in Riyadh as “guests” and promised to provide security guarantees if they accepted the invitation.The Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and marched south, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to take refuge in Saudi Arabia.Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries formed a coalition to intervene in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 to help government forces fight the Houthis.Mr. Hadi agreed to hold the talks, the officials said.It was not clear whether the Houthis would agree to travel to Saudi Arabia for consultations.Oman and Kuwait, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, appear to be more neutral venues for the talks, according to Reuters reporters.Some Houthi officials live in Oman, while Kuwait hosted talks between the Yemeni government and the Houthis in 2016.A Yemeni government official in Riyadh told AFP that Saudi Arabia would not take part in the talks, which would be led by Oman.A man stands in the rubble after an air strike in Sana ‘a, Yemen, Jan. 18, 2008.Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Yemen’s civil war.The ongoing war and famine have plunged Yemen into a serious humanitarian crisis and displaced a large number of people.On the other hand, the continued fighting makes it difficult for countries such as Saudi Arabia to withdraw.The Houthis are battling a multinational coalition for control of the central province of Marib, yemen’s main oil producer.U.S. President Joseph Biden announced in February last year that the United States would no longer support the Saudi-led coalition’s military operations in Yemen, including halting planned arms sales.It later rescinded the previous ADMINISTRATION’s designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group.(Sau Ling Lau)

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