Rebels 'not serious' about peace talks: Yemen FM

Yemeni Foreign Minister Riyad Yassin, pictured on March 29, 2015, says Huthi rebels are "not serious" about UN-led peace talks (AFP Photo/Mohamed el-Shahed)

Riyadh (AFP) - The weekend recapture of positions in southern Yemen by Huthi rebels shows they are "not serious" about expected UN-led peace talks, Yemen's foreign minister said on Monday.

"We want to go to negotiations in Geneva," Riad Yassin told AFP on the sidelines of an Arab League meeting in the Saudi capital.

"But what they are doing inside Taez, and they are trying to re-attack places in the south... shows that really they are not serious."

Saudi Arabia, which has led an Arab coalition fighting the rebels in support of local forces since late March, has been optimistic the talks would get underway this month.

With the United Nations also in a new push for talks, after previous stalled attempts at negotiations, UN chief Ban Ki-moon was due in the Saudi capital.

He is to open an Arab-South American summit on Tuesday evening, and to hold talks with Saudi leaders.

On Monday a 400-strong Sudanese force arrived in Yemen's port city Aden in support of anti-rebel forces preparing to confront a possible new offensive by Huthis and allied troops loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

On Saturday the rebels recaptured Damt, the second city of Daleh province.

They also made a "limited advance" over the weekend in the coastal city of Dhubab, a military source said.