Yemen rebel ally Saleh says open to talks with Saudis


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.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of Gulf states against Houthi rebels who ousted the pro-Saudi, internationally-recognized government in Yemen in 2015.

"I call on our brothers in neighbouring stop their aggression and lift the blockade. and we will turn the page", Saleh said.

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

He says that the Yemeni people in Sana'a and in all the provinces have carried out an uprising against the aggression (of the Houthis) toward the nation in the three years after (President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi) Hadi fled the country, during which time salaries have not been paid, food, water and medicine have become scarce, insecurity has reigned, and children have been drafted to fight.

Local residents who said that loud explosions were heard overnight across the city and into Saturday morning.

Pointing to global law, Lowcock said, "Wars have rules, and they need to be complied with". They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

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Saleh was forced to surrender his office in 2012 amid a wave of mass protests in the country, abandoning the presidency to his Vice-President Hadi.

The Saudi-led coalition welcomed Mr Saleh's change of stance.

He added that some speculators claim that Saleh's statements are actually a proposition by Saudi Arabia to roll down the hostilities in a manner which would save face.

Mr Hadi, in a statement after a meeting with his advisors, also said he was ready to work with Mr Saleh against the Houthis.

He urged the "turning a new page with all the political sides. and to form a broad national coalition that will lay the foundations for a new era and unify everyone against the coup militia". Saleh has accused the Houthis of seeking to monopolise power and the rebels have accused the strongman of treason over his suspected contacts with Saudi Arabia.

"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 head of the Houthi's Ansarullah group, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, has described Saleh's change of heart as "sedition", and appealed to him to show more wisdom and maturity.

He also accused the Houthis of "terrorizing" civilians.