Saudi Arabia invited Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis to Riyadh to continue ceasefire talks, the state news agency SPA reported on Thursday.

The kingdom wanted to resume efforts helped by Oman to "reach a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen and a sustainable political solution acceptable to all Yemeni parties," SPA added.

Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, said late Thursday that talks were continuing between Sanaa and the Saudi Arabia with Omani mediation.

The discussions included "paying salaries of the Yemeni employees, opening airports and ports, releasing all prisoners and detainees, the exit of foreign forces, and reconstruction leading to a comprehensive political solution," he said.

The Houthi al-Masirah TV reported earlier on Thursday that a delegation left Sanaa and was on its way to Riyadh to continue the negotiations.

The trip will be the first official visit by Houthi officials to the kingdom since the war broke out in Yemen in 2014, after the Iran-aligned group ousted a Saudi-backed government in Sanaa.

The peace initiatives have gained momentum since arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to re-establish ties in a deal brokered by China. A permanent ceasefire in Yemen would mark a milestone in stabilizing the Middle East.

The first round of the Oman-mediated consultations between Riyadh and Sanaa, which are running in parallel to UN peace efforts, was held in April when Saudi envoys visited Sanaa.

The group has been fighting against a Saudi-led military alliance since 2015 in a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and left 80% of Yemen's population dependent on humanitarian aid.

Reporting by Reuters

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