Yemen foreign minister Khaled al-Yamani attends a news conference on Yemen talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland September 8, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Long awaited U.N.-backed talks between Yemen's warring parties sputtered out Saturday before ever truly starting, after the Houthi rebels refused to travel to Geneva and fresh fighting broke out on the ground.U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths said he had held "fruitful consultations" with the delegation representing the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, but acknowledged he had been unable to convince the rebel delegation to even show up for the talks.They accused the Arab coalition backing the Hadi government of planning to strand their delegation in Djibouti, where their plane was to make a stop en route to Geneva.They hinted they feared a repeat of 2016, when 108 days of talks in Kuwait broke down and a rebel delegation was stranded in Oman for three months due to an air blockade.
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