Final Yemen solution preferred over ‘short truce’

Saudi-led coalition would prefer a broad political settlement to a ceasefire, its spokesman said

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The Saudi-led coalition fighting in support of Yemen’s government would prefer a broad political settlement to a ceasefire, its spokesman said on Monday.

“I think now it’s not a question of talking about a ceasefire,” Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri told AFP.

Late on Sunday a Houthi militia leader, Saleh al-Sammad, proposed a truce on the country’s border with Saudi Arabia in exchange for a halt in Saudi-led air strikes on his forces.

Assiri said the coalition welcomes “any effort to have a genuine political settlement” under a peace initiative proposed last month by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

This is preferable to a “short ceasefire without any control, without any observation”, he said.

Previous truces in the 18-month war collapsed.

In a turn of events, Saleh also urged for direct talks with Saudi Arabia, denying in the process that his forces, along with Houthi militias, have “any coalition or connections with Iran.”

Saleh also invited Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi to enter the capital Sanaa and that he will receive himself.

In late 2014 they seized Yemen’s capital Sanaa before moving into other parts of the country.

Saudi Arabia in March 2015 formed an Arab coalition to begin air strikes and ground support for forces loyal to Hadi, who fled to Riyadh.

The latest round of UN-led talks between the government and the Huthis ended acrimoniously on August 6 without a breakthrough and a ceasefire that had been in place since April collapsed.

Hadi, in a fierce address to the UN in New York on Friday, accused of Iran of blocking peace moves through its support for the rebels.

“We shall extract Yemen from the claws of Iran. We shall raise the Yemeni flag over every foot of our precious soil,” Hadi told the General Assembly.

(With AFP)

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