Saleh says open to negotiations with Kingdom

Saleh says open to negotiations with Kingdom

Yemenis look for items in piles of rubbish lining a road in Sanaa after sanitation workers went on strike over weeks of unpaid wages. — AFP

Sanaa — Yemen’s ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh is open to negotiations with Saudi Arabia. “We have no choice but dialogue,” Saleh said at a meeting of his General People’s Congress party in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Tuesday. “We are ready to go to Riyadh, Khamis Mushit, Muscat or elsewhere to start dialogue and to reach an understanding,” Saleh said. Saleh, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011, has repeatedly said he was open to talks with Saudi Arabia. But he ruled out mediation by UN special envoy Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed, who aims to resume stalled peace talks by the end of May, accusing him of bias. Government spokesman Rajeh Badi said Ould Sheikh Ahmed is currently in Riyadh for talks on the Yemeni crisis. Saleh resigned under massive popular pressure in February 2012. He was succeeded by Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi.  Parts of the army remained loyal to Saleh after his resignatio. In 2014 when he forged an alliance with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. According to sources close to Saleh, General People’s Congress and the former presient have prepared a plan to confront Houthi militias following reports that militia leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi intended to kill him. Members of the General People’s Congress asked Saleh to review all secret agreements with the Houthis in preparation for disengagement. Saleh has given the green light to his media to discredit Abdulmalik Al-Houthi and expose him before Yemeni citizens. — Agencies