Former Yemeni President Saleh Offers Talks To Saudi-Led Coalition

Former Yemeni President Saleh Offers Talks To Saudi-Led Coalition

Former Yemeni President Saleh Offers Talks To Saudi-Led Coalition

Sanaa has been rocked by an eruption of violence this past week between Saleh's supporters and the Houthi rebels.

Mr Saleh said he would be ready to "turn the page" if the coalition lifted a blockade and halted its attacks.

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

The Saudis want to restore the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was forced into retreat and then exile by the fighting.

"I call on our brothers in neighboring countries.to stop their aggression and lift the blockade. and we will turn the page", the former president said in a televised speech.

"Our country is under aggression and the Houthis are the cause of this aggression due to their practices", he said. Mediation efforts by tribal elders and officials over the past few days have come to nothing. "We hear the ambulances pass in the street towards al-Mutawakel Hospital", he said. They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, tells VOA that former president Saleh has a "strong political instinct" and that he made his move against the Houthis at a time when the situation on the ground is favorable.

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

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said at least 80 people have been killed in this week's clashes between forces loyal to Saleh and Houthis.

This is the beginning of a rebellion against the Houthi militias in Sana'a, it added.

The coalition accuses Saleh of having betrayed his Arab neighbours by joining the Houthi-led forces they say are aligned with non-Arab Iran.

Saleh's supporters managed on Saturday to seize control of several embassies and government buildings from the Houthis.

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

The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and the ICRC urged the parties to avoid targeting civilians.

Saleh agreed to leave presidency in 2012, n 33 years in front of Yemen, after months of popular protests and global pressure (including that of its neighbours) to prevent anor civil war being unleashed as in Libya or Syria.

However, in a statement, Saleh's party, the GPC, ordered their supporters to defy Houthi's orders and to "defend their homeland, their revolution, and their unity".

A statement from Saleh's GPC appealed on Saturday to security and military forces and all public employees to be neutral and not to implement instructions given by the Houthis in all provinces.

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