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Saudi Arabia to host Riyadh talks on Yemen crisis

Saudi asked other GCC countries to hold the meeting in the capital on the request of Yemen's President Hadi

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia said on Monday the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had agreed to host talks in Riyadh to end the Yemen crisis, the state news agency SPA said, quoting a statement by the Saudi King's office, according to Reuters news agency.

The statement states that Saudi Arabia had asked the GCC countries, on the request of Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to host the talks in Riyadh where the headquarters of the organization was, and that they had agreed.

“The security of Yemen is part and parcel of the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries,” the statement said.

“The GCC countries have expressed their agreement to the request of Yemen's president to hold a conference under the umbrella of the GCC in Riyadh.”

Yemen, a neighbor of top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and global security worry because of its strong al-Qaeda presence, is caught in a stand-off between Western-backed President Hadi and Houthi rebels, now the country’s de facto rulers. The Houthis are supported by Iran.

In February, Hadi fled Houthi house arrest to the southern port city of Aden and re-established his presidency there. Soon afterwards, the United Nations announced it would mediate in a dialogue between the two sides, warning that Yemen was sliding towards civil war.

But Hadi has refused to talk with the Houthis unless they vacate the capital Sanaa and has asked to move the talks to a neutral area.