United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths met Yemeni officials in Riyadh on Monday as part of efforts to kick-start peace talks next month between Huthi rebels and the Saudi-backed government.

The visit comes as a tenuous calm settles over Yemen s rebel-held port city of Hodeida, a vital lifeline for imports and aid that had seen fierce clashes in a renewed offensive by a Saudi-led military coalition.

Under heavy international pressure, the Yemeni government and the coalition have largely suspended their five-month-old battle to seize Hodeida.

Griffiths, who is spearheading efforts to hold peace talks in Sweden in December, met Yemen s Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and Foreign Minister Khalid al-Yamani in the Saudi capital, the Yemeni state-run sources said.

The Yemeni leaders discussed with Griffiths arrangements for the upcoming negotiations and possible “confidence building measures” to test the “rebels  seriousness” about peace efforts, sources reported.

Fighting in the Red Sea city intensified in early November as coalition-backed loyalist forces attempted to enter the city, but calm returned after Griffiths arrived in Yemen on Wednesday.

Griffiths has urged the warring parties to “keep the peace” in Hodeida.

While the loyalist advance there has largely stalled, minor clashes have continued.