This is where the high-stake Yemen peace talks will take place

This is where the high-stake Yemen peace talks will take place

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told CBC News an arms deal signed with Saudi Arabia by the Conservative government that preceded him in Ottawa "makes it very hard to suspend or leave that contract", without offering a lot of specifics.

However scepticism around the proposed negotiations remains, after previous talks broke down in September after Saudi Arabia refused to allow a Houthi delegation to fly to Geneva to attend the meeting.

The negotiations are a renewed push to end a civil war that has brought economic ruin and starvation to the country and are considered the biggest step towards peace since 2016.

Representatives of the Houthi rebels, who control about a third of the country, including the capital, Sanaa, and the port city of Hodeidah, arrived in Stockholm last night after being personally escorted out of the country by the UN's special envoy, Martin Griffith.

A government team, headed by Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani, was expected in Sweden on Wednesday.

At the same time, he called on rebel fighters to remain "vigilant against any attempt at a military escalation on the ground".

Hadi's government is expected to follow the group, whose attendance was secured after the evacuation of 50 wounded Houthis for treatment in Oman on Monday.

A source in the government delegation told the news agency that Hadi's camp is seeking maps detailing landmines planted by the rebels.

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Rebel official Abdel Kader al-Murtadha confirmed the deal, adding that he hoped it would be "implemented without a problem".

Since the coalition intervened in 2015, Yemen has become the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the UN. Three-quarters of the population, or 22 million, rely on aid.

The peace talks may start on Wednesday, two sources familiar with the matter said.

If the negotiations show results, "it is possible that we could find by the second half of the year that the extreme edge could get taken off the suffering of those people who have no form of income", he said.

"This is not a country on the brink of catastrophe".

Sweden's foreign ministry has yet to announce the venue of the talks, which will focus on reopening Sanaa airport and securing a prisoner swap and a ceasefire in Hodeidah port city, a lifeline for millions that is now a focus of the war.

A United Nations source confirmed that wounded rebels had been evacuated from the Yemeni capital in what was a "confidence-building measure" aimed at pushing ahead with negotiations between Huthi rebels and a rival Saudi-led military coalition this month.

Western powers, which provide arms and intelligence to the coalition, may have greater leverage to demand action on Yemen after outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul increased scrutiny of the kingdom's activities in the region.

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