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Yemen starts indirect talks with southern separatists in S. Arabia to end Aden fighting

Yemeni government officials have begun indirect talks with United Arab Emirates-backed southern separatists in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah to end fighting in Aden and other southern provinces, Reuters quoted a Yemeni official as saying on Wednesday.

The fight for Yemen’s south has opened a new front in a multi-tiered war and threatens to further fragment Yemen. Government and separatist forces are both part of a Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Houthi group.

The separatists, who seek to restore the former South Yemen republic, have seized control of the southern port of Aden and declared Sanaa government authorities unwanted in the south.

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s main coalition partner, the United Arab Emirates, carried out airstrikes on government forces. The strikes were intended to support separatists of the Southern Transitional Council as its forces recaptured control of Aden, forcing a government retreat.