Yemen rebel leader Ali Abdullah Saleh seeks dialogue amid escalating violence

Marsha Scott
December 3, 2017

The comments, carried by the Saudi-owned Al-Hadath news channel, came after Saleh said he was ready to turn a new page with the coalition if it stopped what he described as its aggression on Yemen and lifted restrictions on transportation. The coalition had also imposed a blockade on the country, allowing occasional humanitarian access, with the aim of reinstating the internationally recognised government of Mr Saleh's successor, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Street fighting in the war-wracked country comes amid heightened regional tensions, most notably after Houthi rebels early last month launched a missile that was intercepted near the Saudi capital.

The head of the Houthis' Ansarullah group warned that the biggest victor from what he described as Saleh's "sedition" was the Saudi-led coalition.

Saleh's statements were welcomed by the Saudi coalition, which said it was "confident of the will of the leaders and sons" of Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) party to return to the Arab fold.

Mr Saleh, who led Yemen for more than 30 years, was deposed in a 2011 uprising.

"It is happening in coordination with it", referring to the Saudi-led coalition".

The coalition accuses Saleh of having betrayed his Arab neighbours by joining the Houthi-led forces they say are aligned with non-Arab Iran. "The priority has been and still is to confront the forces of aggression".

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"Disagreements (between the two sides) can be settled through negotiation, and invaders and enemies will get the most out of the sedition", he said, urging Saleh to abandon such "irresponsible" and "suspicious" moves.

Fighting between rebel groups has erupted in Sanaa in recent days, leading to dozens of deaths, officials from both sides told CNN. It also called on supporters, including tribal fighters, to "defend themselves, their country, their revolution and their republic".

But the head of the Houthis' Ansarullah group warned that the biggest victor from what he described as Saleh's "sedition" was the Saudi-led coalition.

Saudi Arabia has been locked in a fight with the Houthi rebels since it joined the Yemen war in 2015.

In a televised speech on December 2, Saleh called on the Saudi-led coalition to pave the way for an end to nearly three years of war by stopping attacks and lifting a siege on the country.

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.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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