Pompeo meets Omani FM over Yemen issues

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah here Wednesday to discuss Omani efforts to mediate Yemen issues.

Pompeo expressed his gratitude over Oman’s positive engagement on regional issues, including its role in helping facilitate UN consultations on Yemen in Sweden, according to a statement issued by the U.S. State Department.

Pompeo and bin Alawi underscored their support for UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and the next round of Yemen consultations.

On Thursday, the week-long Yemen peace talks concluded in Sweden with constructive progress for future dialogues.

Pompeo hailed the peace talks as “encouraging” and “a pivotal first step” towards ensuring peace in the country.

The cease-fire agreement reached between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels during the peace talks went into effect at midnight local time (2100 GMT) on Monday.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi rebels overtook the capital Sanaa and toppled the government of President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people and created a serious humanitarian crisis.

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