Saudi FM: Fighting al-Qaeda now a priority in Yemen

He expressed optimism about the ongoing talks in Kuwait between the Houthis and the government. (AP)

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Friday that the priority in Yemen is no longer to wage a war against the Houthis but to fight al-Qaeda.

In an interview in the French newspaper Le Figaro, Jubeir said Al-Qaeda and ISIS are two terrorist organizations and they need to be contained. Le Figaro said Jubeir’s statement is evidence of a change in the situation on the ground in Yemen.

Jubeir added: “Al-Qaeda and ISIS are terrorist organizations. However, the Houthis are Yemenis and are our neighbors with whom one can hold talks.”

He expressed optimism about the ongoing talks in Kuwait between the Houthis and the government.

In tweets from his official account, Jubeir said whether we disagree or agree with the Houthis, they remain a part of the social fabric of Yemen.

He also said in another tweet: “ISIS and al-Qaeda are terrorist organizations that should not be given the chance to exist neither in Yemen, nor in any other part of the world.”

Watch: UN envoy: Yemen foes discuss key issues in direct talk

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on May 14, 2016.

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