The Saudi and Yemeni ambassadors said they are optimistic that peace talks between the Yemeni government and Shiite Houthi rebels will take place in mid-November after weeks of preparations to try to prevent another failure. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi and Yemen’s Khalid Alyemany told reporters after meeting members of the Yemeni community that the talks will focus on implementing a U.N. Security Council resolution approved in April that requires the rebels to withdraw from all areas they have seized and lay down arms captured in months of fighting. Alyemany said the agenda for the talks, likely to be held in Geneva, should be completed by the end of this week. The U.N. special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who has been trying to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table, will be at U.N. headquarters next week for consultations, Alyemany said. Fighting in Yemen has killed more than 4,000 people, leaving the Arab world’s poorest country in the grip of a humanitarian crisis and on the brink of famine. The U.N. says over 21 million people — 80 percent of the population — need humanitarian assistance.
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