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Open to talks with Saudis: Yemen rebel ally

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh at an event in Sana’a last week. AP   | Photo Credit: AP

Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he was open to talks with the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels, as his alliance with the Huthi insurgents appeared to be crumbling.

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

“We vow to our brothers and neighbours that, after a ceasefire is in place and the blockade is lifted, we will hold dialogue directly through the legitimate authority represented by our Parliament.”

The Saudi-led coalition, which has fought Mr. Saleh and the Iran-backed Huthi rebels since 2015, last month imposed a total blockade on the impoverished country after a rebel missile was shot down near Riyadh.

The capital has been shaken by escalating violence this week between supporters of Mr. Saleh and the Huthis, with dozens of fighters killed and injured and residents now fearing a new front in an already devastating war.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 2:46:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/open-to-talks-with-saudis-yemen-rebel-ally/article21250025.ece

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