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Yemen govt, rebels lash out as peace talks set to open

AFP  |  Rimbo (Sweden) 

and rebels doubled down on their rival demands Thursday, just moments before hard-won peace talks were due to open in under the auspices of the

A top Huthi rebel threatened Thursday to bar UN planes from using the Yemeni capital's airport unless peace talks in lead to its full reopening.

"If the Yemeni capital's airport is not opened to the Yemeni people in the peace talks in Sweden, I call on the (rebel) political council and government to close the airport for all planes," tweeted.

The hit back, demanding the rebels withdraw from the flashpoint port city of

Yemen's foreign ministry demanded the "coupist militias withdraw fully from the western coast and hand the area over to the legitimate government" via -- a reference to rebel-held Hodeida, home to Yemen's most valuable port.

The talks mark the first attempt in two years to an end to the conflict, which has killed at least 10,000 people since 2015 and triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Some 14 million people are at imminent risk of in Yemen, according to UN estimates, as a Saudi-led military coalition continues to battle the country's Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 14:55 IST