Yemen war: 'Milestone' Yemen peace talks begin as UN warns of famine risk

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Peace talks aimed at ending nearly four years of civil war in Yemen, described by the UN special envoy as a important achievement, have begun in Sweden. 

Martin Griffiths announced the marking of a prisoner swap deal that would see a large number of families rejoined. 

His team is working alongside appointments from the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels to to enable informal talks due to last a week

The war has caused the world's most noticeably crisis in recent times. 

A large number of people have died  in battling and millions have been pushed to the edge of starvation. 

Consultations are resuming out of the blue since 2016. The last attempt at negotiated peace collapsed in September when the Houthis failed to appear for talks in Geneva. 

The most recent talks are not expected that would convey a leap forward. Reporters say the key point of this round is to prevent an all-out battle for the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hudaydah where thousands of civilians are trapped.

 

The UN also hopes to come up with a framework for talks on what a future political solution in Yemen will resemble. 

"Amid the coming days we will have a critical opportunity to give momentum to the peace process," Mr Griffiths told columnists as talks started at a renovated castle in Stockholm on Thursday.

The UN envoy additionally affirmed that an agreement had been signed by the two sides allowing for the exchange of prisoners, designed as a confidence-building measure.

He didn't indicate numbers but said that thousands of families would benefit from the move.

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