Mahdi al-Mashat (1st L), chairman of the Houthi's political council, meets with Muhammad Al Jaber (2nd L), Saudi ambassador to Yemen, in Sanaa, Yemen, on April 9, 2023. A Saudi delegation arrived in the Yemeni capital here on Saturday evening to hold ceasefire talks with the Iran-backed Houthi militia, the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported on Sunday. (Houthi-run Saba News Agency/Handout via Xinhua)
SANAA, April 9 (Xinhua) -- A Saudi delegation arrived in the Yemeni capital here on Saturday evening to hold ceasefire talks with the Iran-backed Houthi militia, the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported on Sunday.
The Saudi delegation arrived along with Omani officials to meet here with Mahdi al-Mashat, chairman of the Houthi's political council, for discussion of arrangements to renew the ceasefire deal that ended in October 2022, said the report.
"The move came as part of Oman's mediation efforts to bring peace to Yemen," it said.
Oman, which borders both Yemen and Saudi Arabia, has actively engaged in brokering a truce in Yemen in coordination with the United Nations peace efforts.
Muhammad al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Yemeni Shura Council and a prominent leader in the Houthi group, told Xinhua that Muhammad Al Jaber, Saudi ambassador to Yemen, arrived on Saturday as the head of the Saudi delegation to Yemen's capital.
Also on Saturday, the Houthi group said it had received 13 prisoners of war released by Saudi Arabia in exchange for a Saudi prisoner the group said it released earlier.
Peace efforts to end the war in Yemen have been increasing, particularly after recent Chinese efforts to ease tensions and restore diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The conflict in Yemen erupted in late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern cities and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa.
The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the Yemeni government.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million, and pushed the country to the brink of starvation. ■