The U.N. special envoy for Yemen says he will start work immediately with the country's feuding parties on an agenda, date and format for peace talks.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed confirmed to the U.N. Security Council on Friday that Yemen's government and Shiite Houthi rebels have agreed to send delegations to the talks to negotiate an end to the conflict.

He said both sides accepted a Security council resolution approved in April that requires the rebels to withdraw from all areas they control and lay down arms captured in months of fighting, though he added that the Houthis are committed to "a negotiated withdrawal from Yemen's key cities."

Previous attempts at peace talks have failed, with the Houthis resisting calls to withdraw from all areas they control.