Amid objections, UN envoy says deal in the making, after factions agreed on new congress

The United Nations envoy to Yemen says rival factions, including the country's Shiite rebels, have agreed on a new legislative body to serve during the country's upcoming transition period.

Jamal Benomar said on Friday that the various parties have taken an "important step" toward a political resolution to the current crisis by creating a new legislative body consisting of former and new lawmakers.

But a coalition of Yemeni parties voiced objections to the plan, describing it as an insufficient half-solution. Benomar says other issues, including the status of the presidency, remain on the table.

Yemen has been locked in a political crisis since Shiite rebels known as Houthis swept the capital in September. The rebels eventually forced the resignation of the elected Western-backed president and dissolved the parliament.