Cease-fire negotiations between Houthi forces and the Saudi-led coalition battling it out over Yemen have significantly advanced, and the sides are close to hammering out an interim deal that would halt the majority of hostilities ravaging the country, sources close to the talks told Reuters on Tuesday.
According to the report, Riyadh and its allies, who back the Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi government ousted from Sanaa in 2014, will lift the blockade imposed for years on Houthi-controlled ports and airports, in return for launching discussions over a cessation of attacks by the Iran-aligned group on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.
A long-term cease-fire would then include an exit of coalition forces and the end of airstrikes on Houthi-held territories, and eventually political negotiations over a transitional Yemeni government.
The talks, brokered by the United Nations and neighboring Oman, will also need to address the many spin-off conflicts between local warlords and tribal leaders who have assembled their own militias over the past few years. The war in Yemen is considered to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.