UN envoy says Yemen’s warring sides agree to peace talks

In this photo provided by the Yemeni Presidency, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, right, meets with the U.N. special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to agree on peace talks with Shiite Houthi rebels set to begin in mid-December, officials from the president's office said, in the southern city of Aden, Yemen, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. (Yemeni Presidency photo via AP)

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. special envoy for Yemen says warring parties in the impoverished Arabic Peninsula country have agreed to hold peace talks next week.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told reporters in Geneva that the talks would begin Dec. 15 and pointed to “a number of good signs” that a cease-fire will be respected. He said only Yemeni participants — not foreigners — would take part.

Yemen’s civil war pits the Houthis, who have controlled the capital Sanaa since September, and allied army units against forces loyal to the internationally recognized government, as well as southern separatists and militants.

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