Yemen’s Hadi urges Houthis to lay down arms

Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, President of Yemen, addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. (AP)

President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi on Sunday urged Houthi militias to lay down their arms and resume dialogue to end Yemen’s conflict, as he left for the U.N. General Assembly.

The embattled leader, who returned Wednesday to the southern city of Aden after a nearly six-month exile, headed to New York where he is to address the General Assembly.

“I am open to all efforts seeking a political solution,’ Hadi said in a letter addressed to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, where the Yemeni leader took shelter in March after rebels advanced on Aden, his last refuge at the time after having escaped house arrest in Houthi-controlled Sanaa.

Hadi also called on rebels “to end their coup, surrender weapons ... and return to the dialogue table, to implement the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216,’ which demands the insurgents withdraw from territories they have occupied.

The militias overran Sanaa unopposed in September last year and went on to expand their control zone into several regions, aided in fierce fighting against pro-Hadi forces by renegade troops loyal to deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In July, loyalist forces backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition evicted the rebels from Aden and four other southern provinces, and they have since set their sights on advancing on Sanaa.

In a letter to Hadi, King Salman congratulated Hadi on his return to Aden and pledged support to the internationally-recognised president.

“We in the coalition stand firmly, with all our strength, by your side... to protect your country,’ Salman wrote.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46