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Hadi: UN Talks Not a Negotiation With Houthis


FILE - Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
FILE - Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Yemen's President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi said Monday that U.N.-brokered talks scheduled to begin Sunday in Geneva will not involve negotiations to reconcile with the Houthi rebels who forced him from the country earlier this year.

In comments broadcast by Al-Arabiya television, Hadi said there will only be discussion of implementing a U.N. Security Council resolution adopted in April that calls for the Houthis to withdraw from areas they have seized and to unconditionally end the use of violence.

The Houthis took control of the capital, Sana'a, in September after a months-long campaign, and in March swept south to the port city of Aden in a campaign that sent Hadi into exile in Saudi Arabia.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the talks in a statement Saturday saying all parties should take part "in good faith and without preconditions." He said he hopes the meeting would restart a peaceful political transition in Yemen.

Yemen has been in political upheaval since 2011, when protesters forced longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power. Saleh now backs the Houthis.

The conflict expanded into a regional affair in March, when Hadi asked for help from Gulf Arab allies, leading to an ongoing campaign of airstrikes by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

Coalition jets targeted the headquarters of Yemen's armed forces in Sana'a on Sunday, killing at 44 people, including civilians.

Attempts at U.N.-mediated peace talks and cease-fires have repeatedly failed.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the families of two Yemeni civilians killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2012 are suing the United States.

The families filed their suit in federal court in Washington. They are not seeking monetary damages, but want the court to declare the missile strike illegal.

The missiles struck the village of Khashamir.

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