US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, 25 August, announced a new peace initiative to resume the Yemen peace talks, giving the Houthi rebels a chance to participate in the country's unity government and solve a complex 17-month conflict.
"This war needs to end and it needs to end as quickly as possible. The bloodshed ... has gone on for too long. It has to stop ... There is no military solution," Kerry said at a news conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in the city of Jeddah. He added that the "fair and sensible" approach was agreed upon in talks with Gulf Arab states and United Nations in Saudi Arabia.
Kerry also said that reinstating stability to Yemen is important to alleviate the suffering of civilians and to stop extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (Isis) from taking further advantage of the power vacuum.
"It is essential for Yemen, for countries in the region and for the world community in general to agree on a plan to end the fighting and achieve a lasting peace," he said.
He also elaborated that UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed will immediately start a dialogue with all parties involved to outline new peace talks.
"The final agreement ... would include in the first phase a swift formation of a new national unity government, the withdrawal of forces from [the capital] Sana'a and other areas and the transfer of all heavy weapons including ballistic missiles, from the Houthis and forces aligned to them to a third party," Al Jazeera quoted him as saying.
Yemen slipped into chaos after its long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh was removed in 2012. The security situation receded further as the Houthis overtook the capital city Sana'a in September 2014 and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government into exile.
In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition started air strikes against the Iran-supported Shi'ite Houthi rebels, backing the government of President Hadi. After the air strikes by the Saudi-coalition started, the government returned to Yemen, making Aden, their makeshift capital.
Earlier this month, peace talks in Kuwait collapsed, after three months of trying to making progress. The talks were suspended because the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Saleh, refused a peace deal and announced a 10-member council to govern Yemen.