World united on establishing Yemen peace: UN envoy
Stockholm: The UN envoy for Yemen on Thursday said the international community had come together in Sweden this week to resolve the conflict in Yemen.
UN envoy for Yemen speaking about peace in the country
As representatives from Yemen's warring sides sat in the same room in Sweden on Thursday as UN-sponsored peace talks, Martin Griffiths told journalists that among the meeting's aims was to create a framework for peace talks and build confidence between the different parties involved.
Griffiths announced the sides have agreed on a prisoner exchange as a first step toward building confidence.
He said both sides have signaled they were serious about de-escalating the fighting through calls they've made in recent weeks, and urged them to work to further reduce the violence in the Arab world's poorest nation, scene of massive civilians suffering.
U.N. officials, however, have sought to downplay expectations from the talks, saying they don't expect rapid progress toward a political settlement but hope for at least minor steps that would help to address Yemen's worsening humanitarian crisis.
Both the internationally-recognized government, which is backed by a US-sponsored and Saudi-led coalition, and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels say they are striving for peace.