Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has declared allegiance to the Houthi Ansarullah movement, says peace talks with Saudi Arabia will only take place after Riyadh halts its aggression against Yemen.
“We will not take part in dialogue… unless the war ends,” Saleh said during a late Sunday meeting with members of his General People’s Congress (GPC) party.
“And if the war ends, we will hold talks with Saudi Arabia and not with the delegate of escapees,” he said, in reference to the representatives of fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen in late March in a bid to undermine the Ansarullah movement and bring Hadi back to power. More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since then.
On December 15, an Ansarullah delegation and Hadi’s representatives began UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland with the aim of reaching a solution to the country’s conflict.
A truce came into force in Yemen as the six-day talks opened but it was repeatedly violated by the Saudi side and Hadi loyalists.
Although there was no major breakthrough in the negotiations, the parties agreed to meet again on January 14, 2016.