SANAA, Yemen, April 20 (UPI) -- Iran-backed Houthi militants have finally agreed to join United Nations peace talks in Kuwait aimed at ending the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
"We will [seek to meet] the aspirations of our people to achieve dignity, independence and freedom," Houthi leader Mahdi Al Mashat said in a statement on Facebook.
Talks had been scheduled to start on Monday, but Houthi delegates didn't show up.
Anadolu Agency reported that the Shia group demanded an end to airstrikes being carried out in Yemen by a Saudi-led military coalition. They were also insisting on a "clear agenda."
Al Mashat said late Tuesday that they had received assurances from Kuwait and Oman that there would be an end to violations of a weeklong cease-fire in Yemen by the Saudi coalition.
Yemen has been in turmoil since September 2014, when the Houthis and their allies took control of the capital, Sanaa, and other parts of the country. President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his government were forced to flee to Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a huge air campaign in March last year, aimed at reversing Houthi gains and restoring Hadi's government.
During the conflict, more than 6,000 people have been killed, around half of them civilians, according to the U.N.