Yemen conflict: Saudi-led coalition welcomes Saleh talks offer

Yemen conflict: Saudi-led coalition welcomes Saleh talks offer

"I call on our brothers in neighboring countries.to stop their aggression and lift the blockade", he said, "and we will turn the page".

Stressing that Yemen's interests lie in avoiding sedition, the Houthi leader called on citizens and tribal fighters to focus on the battle against the invading Saudi regime and stay away from any provocative acts.

Three-fourths of Yemenis need some kind of humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs, global observers have said, with more than 17 million people facing food insecurity, including 8.4 million at risk of starvation. Violent clashes between rival factions in Yemen's rebel-held capital signal the disintegration of the rebel alliance at war with a Saudi-led coalition for almost three years. The coalition had also imposed a blockade on the country, allowing occasional humanitarian access, with the aim of reinstating the internationally recognised government of Mr Saleh's successor, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Saleh's supporters managed on Saturday to seize control of several embassies and government buildings from the Houthis.

The source said that clashes had renewed on Saturday between the Houthis and Saleh's supporters in the Yemeni capital Sana'a.

"The decision of Popular General Congress to take initiative and align itself with its people will free Yemen from loyal militias to Iran", he said in a statement released by Saudi SPA Agency, in reference to Saleh's party.

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, tells VOA that former president Saleh has a "strong political instinct" and that he made his move against the Houthis at a time when the situation on the ground is favorable.

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The Houthi-run Al-Masira television channel said Thursday's missile hit a military target inside Saudi Arabia, but the coalition contradicted that claim.

More than 8,670 people have been killed and 49,960 injured since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemen conflict, according to the UN.

"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.

Meanwhile, Houthi leader, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, called for dialogue with Saleh and his rebel forces to end the growing violence between the two factions.

The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and the ICRC urged the parties to avoid targeting civilians.

A statement from Saleh's General People's Congress Party said three guards were killed when Houthi forces attacked the house of Tarek Saleh, Ali Abdullah Saleh's nephew, adding that they also besieged the residence of Ibrahim Sharaf, a party member and foreign minister of the Sanaa-based government.

A statement from Saleh's GPC appealed on Saturday to security and military forces and all public employees to be neutral and not to implement instructions given by the Houthis in all provinces.

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