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Saudi Arabia welcomes positive results of talks to support peace process in Yemen

FILE PHOTO: Saudi's new Defence Minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman chairs his first meeting with military officials in the Ministry of Defence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

CAIRO (Reuters) -Saudi Arabia welcomed positive results from discussions to reach a road map supporting the peace process in Yemen, the kingdom's foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, after Houthi negotiators' talks with the Saudis in Riyadh.

Houthi enovys left Riyadh on Tuesday after a five-day round of talks with Saudi officials on ending the eight-year-old conflict in Yemen, sources familiar with the meeting and Houthi media said.

The kingdom reaffirmed its commitment to promoting dialogue among all warring parties in Yemen, the Saudi defence minister said on Wednesday after meeting with the Houthi delegation.

"I emphasized the Kingdom's support for Yemen and reaffirmed our commitment to promoting dialogue among all parties to reach a comprehensive political solution under UN supervision," Prince Khalid bin Salman said in a post on messaging platform X.

Houthi envoys left Riyadh on Tuesday after a five-day round of talks with Saudi officials on a potential agreement paving the way to an end to the eight-year-old conflict in Yemen, sources familiar with the meeting and Houthi media said.

Some progress has been made on the main sticking points, including a timeline for foreign troops exiting Yemen and a mechanism for paying public wages, two sources said, adding the sides would meet for more talks after consultations "soon."

The Houthi delegation arrived in Saudi Arabia last week. It was the first such official visit to the kingdom since the war broke out in Yemen in 2014 after the Iran-aligned group ousted a Saudi-backed government there.

The talks are focused on a full reopening of Houthi-controlled ports and Sanaa airport, payment of wages for public servants, rebuilding efforts, and a timeline for foreign forces to quit Yemen. An agreement would allow the United Nations to restart a broader political peace process.

The Houthis have been fighting against a Saudi-led military alliance since 2015 in a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and left 80% of Yemen's population dependent on humanitarian aid.

The United States has put pressure on its ally Saudi Arabia to end the war and linked some U.S. military support to the kingdom to ending its involvement in Yemen.

(Reporting by Enas Alashray; Editing by Chris Reese)