Former Yemeni president Saleh, ready to dialogue with Saudi Arabia
Shiite Houthi fighters walk near the Al Saleh mosque on November 30 in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen
Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an ally of the Houthi rebels, but this week his supporters faced them, declared on Saturday open to dialogue with Saudi Arabia if he lifted the blockade imposed on Yemen.
“I call our brother from neighboring countries (…) to end their aggression and lift the blockade (…) and we will turn the page,” Saleh said in a statement to television.
“We promise our brothers and neighbors that when a ceasefire is established and the blockade is lifted, we will dialogue directly through the legitimate authority represented by our parliament,” he added.
The Saudi-led coalition that intervenes militarily in Yemen expressed its satisfaction at the former president’s initiative, considering that it will “liberate Yemen” from “militias loyal to Iran.”
“The decision of the General People’s Congress [the party of Saleh] to take the initiative and choose to join its people will free Yemen (…) from the militias loyal to Iran,” he said in a statement issued by the Saudi official agency SPA .
The forces of Saleh, allied to the pro-Iranian rebel movement of the Houthis, face since 2015 a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervening in Yemen in support of the successor of Saleh, President Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi.
This week, however, violent clashes broke out in the capital, Sanaa, between the followers of Saleh and the Houthis. These combats left dozens dead and wounded on both sides.
After Saleh’s assertions, the Houthis denounced “a blow against our alliance and our agreement.” “It reveals the imposture of those who claim to fight against the aggression” Saudi, said a spokesman for the armed movement on the television network Al Masira, controlled by the rebels.