Yemen peace talks due to begin in Sweden

A source in the government delegation said President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s camp is seeking maps detailing landmines planted by the rebels.

Sources on both sides said they would demand a ceasefire — initiated by their rival — and the opening of humanitarian corridors.

Duration unknown 

No end date has yet been set for the talks, slated to take place at the Johannesberg Castle — a large estate, with a golf course, 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Stockholm.

A 12-member government delegation, led by Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani, landed in Stockholm Wednesday evening, refusing to fly until the Huthis had landed.

The rebels failed to turn up for UN envoy Martin Griffiths’ Geneva talks in September, declining to leave Sanaa over what they said were fears they would not be allowed to return.

The government and Huthis on Tuesday agreed to a prisoner swap, to be overseen by the International Committee of the Red Cross, after the Sweden talks.

Saudi Arabia and its allies also allowed the Huthis to evacuate 50 wounded rebels from Sanaa for medical treatment in Oman.

The two sides not due to sit down at the negotiating table together.

“I would have very low expectations,” a Security Council diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Any power-sharing agreement, or even tentative transitional government, would have to contend with Yemen’s convoluted political and military constitution.

The Huthis hail from what was once an independent northern Yemen and today control the capital, Sanaa, along with the Red Sea city of Hodeida, home to the impoverished country’s most valuable port.

The government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi is now based in the province of Aden in the south — an area home to government loyalists, Islamists and a strong separatist movement. 

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