Ex-president Saleh calls for Yemen ceasefire

In a statement, former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh urged a 'simultaneous' halt in military operations in Yemen

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Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is close to Shiite Houthi rebels in the country, called Friday for a ceasefire and the resumption of U.N.-brokered dialogue between warring parties.

In a statement, Saleh urged a “simultaneous” halt in military operations in Yemen by a Saudi-led Arab coalition and by the rebels, and for dialogue to take place in the United Arab Emirates, AFP reported.


He called for “an immediate cessation of military operations by the coalition” and “a simultaneous immediate stop” to operations by the Huthis, as well as a halt to looting of public buildings and army camps.

Saleh also proposed a “resumption of dialogue... under the sponsorship of the United Nations, and its transfer to the United Arab Emirates or a U.N. building” aimed at negotiating a solution to the crisis.

Saleh, who stepped down in 2012 following a year of protests, is accused of allying with the Houthis, relying on the loyalty of many army units that he built during his three-decade rule.

The announcement of his initiative came on the second day of air raids by a Saudi-led Arab coalition in support of embattled President Hadi.
Earlier on Friday, Al Arabiya News Channel reported that Saleh sent forces loyal to him to block the road connecting the southern port city of Aden - one of the only areas still under the control of the internationally-recognized government - and the sea port city of Mukalla several hundred kilometers away, Al Arabiya News Channel reported Friday.

An autocrat who ruled Yemen for more than 30 years until he was ousted in the sweeping 2011 Arab Spring uprising, Saleh enjoys the support of some of the country’s strongest military units – including the Republican Guards - who now fight alongside the Houthis.

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