Yemen's Saleh says open to talks with Saudi-led coalition

Saudi-coalition strikes Yemen

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

Former President Saleh's General People's Congress party, accused the Houthis of failing to honor the truce and said in a statement on its website that the Houthis bear responsibility for dragging the country into a civil war.

"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.

"I call on our brothers in neighbouring countries.to stop their aggression and lift the blockade. and we will turn the page", the Saleh said in a televised speech on Saturday. Together these groups have been fighting against the Saudi-backed forces of ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi since 2015.

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The remarks came after Saleh supporters battled Houthi fighters for a fourth day in the capital Sana'a as the two sides traded blame for a rift between allies that could affect the course of a fight against the invading Saudi regime. The former president's alliance with the Shiite rebels, who are presumed in Riyadh to be a proxy force of Iran, was perceived in the Arab kingdom as a betrayal of Sunni Islam.

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

"Saleh's speech is a coup against our alliance and partnership. and exposed the deception of those who claim to stand against aggression", he said, according to Al Masirah TV.

The Houthi group leader, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, had earlier appealed to Mr Saleh to avoid any escalation, saying that the crisis would only serve Yemen's enemies. There is in fact no Yemen as a country: "It has been torn apart".

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The Houthi rebels this month warned that they considered "airports, ports, border crossings and areas of any importance" in Saudi Arabia, as well as its ally the United Arab Emirates, legitimate targets.

The war in Yemen, the poorest country of the Arab world, is one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of our times. The civilian suffering was exacerbated by the Saudi naval and air blockade of Yemen, human rights groups say.

He also points up that Saleh's move represents a turning point in the situation inside the country, in which the tables have been turned against the Houthis, and the situation has returned to the status-quo prior to September 2014, when the Houthis seized chunks of the capital from former president Hadi.

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