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Yemen's Saleh says ready for 'new page' with Saudi-led coalition

Yemen's Saleh says ready for 'new page' with Saudi-led coalition

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Saturday he was open to talks with the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels to end the three-year conflict.

"Our country is under aggression and the Houthis are the cause of this aggression due to their practices", he said.

Diab says the Saudi-coalition forces are not too far from the capital, and the Houthis have become widely despised due to shortages of food, water, medicine and money. Arab media is reporting that the former president's supporters have gained control of key government installations in the capital, including the defense ministry, the interior ministry and Sana'a Airport.

"We vow to our brothers and neighbours that, after a ceasefire is in place and the blockade is lifted ... we will hold dialogue directly through the legitimate authority represented by our parliament".

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

There was no immediate word on casualties.

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he was ready for a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on his country.

The UN urged the coalition in a statement Saturday to "fully lift" the blockade on Yemen's red sea ports saying that partial lifting only "slows the collapse toward a massive humanitarian tragedy costing millions of lives".

The statement was issued after a meeting between Hadi and his advisers to form a broad national alliance in the face of the militias Houthi.

The coalition accuses non-Arab Iran of trying to expand its influence into Arab countries, including Yemen, which shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, by aligning themselves with the Houthis and Saleh.

Tension between Saleh and the Houthis has been rising in recent months. "The priority has been and still is to confront the forces of aggression".

He told Yemenis all across the country that if they support him, "to defend the nation, the republic and the revolution".

Saleh and the Iran-backed Huthis, also known as Ansar Allah, have accused each other of inciting Wednesday's unrest.

Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, the leader of the rebels, called on Saleh to "show more wisdom and maturity" in a separate statement.

Yemen's civil war has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015, displaced more than two million people, caused a cholera outbreak infecting almost one million people and put the country on the brink of starvation.


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