Yemeni official: Embattled president will not attend upcoming peace talks in Geneva

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In this Tuesday, May 19, 2015 photo, Ibrahim Mohamed, 80, and the oldest refugee at the center, who is both blind and deaf, adjusts his hat, at an orphanage that has been turned into a center for Yemeni refugees, in Obock, northern Djibouti. Fleeing the war at home, thousands of Yemenis have made it across the Gulf of Aden to find refuge in Djibouti, a sleepy Horn of Africa nation where the United Nations has set up a staging hub for aid for the conflict-torn Arab country. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)


SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni government spokesman Rageh Badi says embattled Yemeni president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi will not attend upcoming peace talks in Geneva.

The announcement is a blow to the talks, which are aimed ending weeks of Saudi-led airstrikes against an Iran-supported rebel group amid a growing humanitarian crisis that has left millions short of food and fuel.

Badi says Hadi will not attend due to the security situation and because Shiite Houthi rebels have not satisfied a government pre-condition to pull out of towns and cities they occupy — including the capital, Sanaa.

The leader of the Houthi rebels, Abdul-Malek al-Houthi, has called the talks the "only solution" for the conflict

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