SANAA, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Yemen's exiled government said on Sunday it would no longer attend U.N.-mediated peace talks with its adversaries the Houthis, dealing a big blow to efforts aimed at ending over five months of civil war.
Loyalists of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi have been battling the Iran-allied militia across the impoverished country since late March, when the group forced him and his administration to flee to Saudi Arabia.
An Arab coalition led by the kingdom intervened in the conflict, launching hundreds of air strikes on the Houthis and backing ground forces they hope will force the group accept an April U.N. Security Council resolution calling on them to recognise Hadi and quit Yemen's main cities.
"(The government) confirmed it would not take part in any meeting until the coup militia recognise international resolution 2216 and accepts to implement it unconditionally," the official state news agency Saba said in a statement on its website.
Hailing the now scuppered talks on Friday, the U.N. Security Council urged the parties to refrain from preconditions and "unilateral actions."
Peace talks in June failed to end the fighting, which has killed over 4,500 people and brought the country to the brink of famine.
(Reporting By Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Kim Coghill)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.