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Former Yemeni President Saleh Offers Talks To Saudi-Led Coalition

Former Yemeni President Saleh Offers Talks To Saudi-Led Coalition

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.

"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.

"We will deal with them in a positive way and what happened to Yemen is enough", he added.

Tensions between the Houthi and Saleh's party rose Wednesday after Saleh's supporters refused access of the Houthis to the Saleh Mosque in the south of Sanaa to secure a religious ceremony to commemorate birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

The attack took place just hours after the rebels threatened to retaliate over a crippling blockade on Yemen imposed by Saudi Arabia.

"It's been like a street war", they said, adding that ambulances have been ferrying the wounded to hospitals.

"The decision by (Saleh's) General People's Congress to take the lead and their choice to side with their people will free Yemen of. militias loyal to Iran", the statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency said.

The Houthi-run al-Masira television channel said Thursday's missile hit a military target inside Saudi Arabia, but the coalition contradicted that claim. The country has since fallen into chaos and Mr Saleh later joined the Houthis to drive Mr Hadi out of the capital in 2014.

The Saudi-led coalition, consisting of several Arab-Sunni states, intervened in neighbouring Yemen to push back Houthi rebels and has since been trying to reinstate the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The Houthis' Ansarullah group, in a statement issued on its Twitter account, described the clashes as "regrettable". "The priority has been and still is to confront the forces of aggression".

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

A statement from Saleh's party called for its loyal armed tribes and supporters to fight against Houthis.

"The GPC appealed to the army and security forces to remain neutral in the conflict".

In response to Saleh's speech, Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi stressed the need for dialogue in another televised appearance in Saturday, and called on Saleh to "be more mature".

In March 2015, warplanes from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and other allies began airstrikes on rebel positions in Yemen.


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