STOCKHOLM - The Yemeni government delegation has arrived in Stockholm, Sweden and expects that the talks on the settlement of the ongoing violent conflict in the Arab republic will start on Thursday, Hamza Alkamaly, the Yemeni deputy minister of sport and a participant of the consultations, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

“There has been the arrival of the Yemeni government delegation to Stockholm. The special envoy, Martin Griffiths, announced the restart of the intra-Yemeni political process between the government of Yemen with Houthi rebels in Sweden on December 6,” Alkamaly said.

Earlier in the day, the Houthi-controlled Al Masirah broadcaster reported that the delegation of the Houthi Shia rebels had also arrived in Stockholm to take part in the negotiations.

Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels for several years. The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request since March 2015.

The UN-led attempts to find a peaceful settlement to the conflict have not succeeded so far. The fighting has recently intensified near the Houthi-controlled city of Al Hudaydah, through which the rebels receive humanitarian and commercial cargoes. The Yemeni government, in turn, claims that the port city is receiving weapons from Iran. The conflict has led the country to a dire humanitarian situation, with civilians suffering extreme food shortages and disease outbreaks as well as direct impact from the military operations.