News ID: 168015
Published: 0534 GMT September 02, 2016

Yemen's Houthi leader: US provides political cover for Saudi strikes

Yemen's Houthi leader: US provides political cover for Saudi strikes

The leader of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement slammed the United States for providing logistical support and political cover for Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in its 18-month war on Yemen.

In his first published interview since the start of the war, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi also told the Houthis' quarterly magazine the movement is open to a peaceful solution of the conflict, in which at least 10,000 people have died, most of them civilians.

"The United States plays a major role in the aggression ... including logistical support for air and naval strikes, providing various weapons ... and providing complete political cover for the aggression, including protection from pressure by human rights groups and the United Nations," he said in remarks carried by Reuters on Friday.

The United States is a key ally of Saudi Arabia, which has come under fire from human rights groups over the airstrikes that have repeatedly killed civilians in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have launched a devastating aerial campaign against Yemen in a bid to restore former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power and push Houthi fighters from the capital Sana'a.

The Houthis say Hadi and Saudi Arabia are pawns of the West bent on dominating their impoverished country and excluding them from power.

UN-sponsored talks to try to end the fighting collapsed last month and Saudi Arabia began to pound Sana'a.

In his interview, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said the opponents did not understand the meaning of real dialogue.

"The hurdle facing negotiations and dialogue is that the other party wants to achieve through the talks what it wanted to achieve through war, not understanding that the path of dialogue and peace is different from the path of war," he said.

Last month US Secretary of State John Kerry said he had agreed in talks in Saudi Arabia with Persian Gulf Arab states and the United Nations on a plan to restart peace talks for Yemen with a goal of forming a unity government.

Both the Houthis and Hadi have welcomed the idea of a return to talks since then.


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