U.N.-sponsored talks in Geneva on a cease-fire between Yemen’s civil war parties ended Friday without a deal as Saudi-led warplanes staged further strikes on the dominant Houthi armed faction and allies including the elite Republican Guard.

More than 2,800 people have been killed since an Arab alliance launched air raids on March 26 to try to roll back the Iranian-backed Houthis’ advances across much of Yemen and reinstate exiled President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi.

U.N. special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that in five days of “proximity talks” – in which he shuttled between factions who refused to sit at the same table – the two sides agreed in principle on the need for a cease-fire and withdrawal of forces in keeping with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216.

“There is a certain willingness from all the parties to discuss issues around a cease-fire accompanied by withdrawal … I personally come out from these few days with a certain degree of optimism that we can achieve this [in further consultations] in the coming days,” he told a news conference in Geneva.

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