Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Yemen rebel ally to Saudis: Let's 'turn the page'

Yemen rebel ally to Saudis: Let's 'turn the page' Yemen rebel ally to Saudis: Let's 'turn the page'
Dexter Carr | 03 December, 2017, 00:55

"I call upon the brothers in neighbouring states and the alliance to stop their aggression, lift the siege, open the airports and allow food aid and the saving of the wounded and we will turn a new page by virtue of our neighbourliness", Mr Saleh announced in a televised interview with the TV station Yemen al-Youm.

The two groups have been fighting the government of current President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who is backed by the Saudi-led coalition, for almost three years.

"We will deal with them in a positive way and what happened to Yemen is enough", he added.

The United Nations released a stern warning on Friday to the Saudi-led coalition of the catastrophic consequences associated with not fully lifting the blockade on Yemen, and UN leaders on Saturday issued a joint statement calling for the full lifting of the blockade.

Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh has declared this Saturday ready to negotiate with Saudi Arabia-led coalition against which his forces have been fighting for two and a half years.

The missile attacks, which could further escalate the coalition's military campaign, underscore how the raging Yemen conflict is increasingly spilling across the border, threatening Saudi towns and villages.

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Tensions between the Houthi and Saleh's party rose Wednesday after Saleh's supporters refused access of the Houthis to the Saleh Mosque in the south of Sanaa to secure a religious ceremony to commemorate birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

Saleh, who was forced to step down by a 2011 mass uprising against his 33 years in office, said Yemen's parliament, which is dominated by his GPC party, was the only legitimate power in the country and was ready for talks with the coalition.

The Saudi-led coalition has fought Saleh loyalists and the Iran-backed Houthis rebels on behalf of the government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi since March 2015.

"It is not unusual or surprising that Saleh turns back on a partnership he never believed in", the group's political bureau said in a statement.

A statement from Saleh's party called for its loyal armed tribes and supporters to fight against Houthis.

For his part, Houthi leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi called on Saleh to end what he called "the sectarian strife" that he has instigated, and threatened to take action against his supporters militarily if he does not. The infighting threatens to unravel the fragile rebel alliance that controls the capital and has been battling the Saudi-backed government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in Yemen's war.

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