RIYADH, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- A visiting U.S. official said on Thursday that the United States is in talks with Yemen's Houthi rebels in a bid to end the country's civil war.
"We are narrowly focused on trying to end the war in Yemen," said Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker at a military facility in Al Kharj, some 80 km south of Riyadh.
"We are also having talks to the extent possible with the Houthis to try and find a mutually accepted negotiated solution to the conflict," he said.
The negotiations mark the first known contact between the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump and the Houthi rebels in more than four years.
The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war since late 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces including the capital Sanaa.
Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military coalition to fight the Iran-allied Houthis in Yemen for more than four years in support of the internationally-recognized government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.