Hadi: Yemen talks to focus on Houthi retreat

Both Hadi and Saudi Arabia have insisted that any talks center on U.N. Security Council resolution 2216

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Yemen’s President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi has played down the Geneva talks slated for June 14 between his country’s warring factions, saying attendees will only address ways to implement a Security Council resolution demanding his enemies retreat, in an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya News Channel.

Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia in March, a neighbor which is backing him with airstrikes against the Yemen’s Houthi militia.

Both Hadi and Saudi Arabia have insisted that any talks center on resolution 2216, which demands that the Iranian-backed Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh quit cities they seized since last September and surrender heavy weapons, Reuters reported.

However, international pressure has been ramped up on Hadi to accept a compromise and negotiate with the Houthis and Saleh’s representatives.

“These are not talks, it is only a discussion to implement U.N. Security Council resolution 2216, how to implement it on the ground,” Hadi stated.

In the interview, the president repeated accusations that Iran is systematically interfering in his country’s affairs by backing the Houthis.

“What Iran does [in my country] is more dangerous than al-Qaeda,” Hadi said in the interview, parts of which were aired on Monday.

Hadi came to office in 2012 elections after Saleh was forced to step down by mass protests against his 33 years in office, He has long claimed Iranian interference in Yemen.

“I had asked Iran: ‘lift your hand from Yemen’,” Hadi said.

“I did not bring this from vacuum. We caught people who had been trained by the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guard. They were jailed in our prisons,” he added.

(With Reuters)

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