Yemen’s Houthi rebels are holding indirect, “secret” talks with Saudis in a bid to end the country’s years-long war, a source close to the rebel group said on Thursday.
In September 2014, the Iran-linked Houthis overran the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, triggering a devastating power struggle with the Saudi-backed government.
“There are secret talks under way between Houthi leaders and senior Saudi officials in the Omani capital, Muscat, through mediators,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
The source identified the mediators as the U.S., Yemen’s UN peace envoy, Martin Griffiths; the Red Cross and Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan.
The talks were initiated after the Houthis proposed in September an end to their missile and drone attacks on Saudi territory in return for halting Saudi-led strikes in Yemen, according to the source.
There was no immediate official confirmation from Riyadh, or the allied Yemeni government.
In September, the Houthis claimed an attack on major Saudi oil installations, which Riyadh and the U.S. blamed on Iran.
Yemen’s feud intensified in 2015 when the Houthis advanced on the government’s temporary capital of Aden, prompting Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies to start an air campaign against the Shiite group. (dpa/NAN)