Former Yemen rebel ally Saleh calls for talks with Saudi Arabia

Former Yemen president turns to Saudis for help

"Such behaviors are unjustifiable", al-Houthi said on Saturday in response to measures taken by supporters of Saleh, the head of Yemeni General People's Congress (GPC) party, against the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

"Our country is under aggression and the Houthis are the cause of this aggression due to their practices", he said.

The Saudi-led coalition welcomed Saleh's remarks.

The Saudis want to restore the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was forced into retreat and then exile by the fighting.

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"I call on our brothers in neighboring countries.to stop their aggression and lift the blockade", he said, "and we will turn the page".

In a statement carried by the Saudi-owned Al-Hadath channel, the coalition said it was "confident of the will of the leaders and sons" of Saleh's GPC party to return to Arab fold.

The United Nations released a stern warning on Friday to the Saudi-led coalition of the catastrophic consequences associated with not fully lifting the blockade on Yemen, and UN leaders on Saturday issued a joint statement calling for the full lifting of the blockade.

"The meeting calls for turning a new page with all the political sides. and to form a broad national coalition that will lay the foundations for a new era and unify everyone against the coup militia", the statement said.

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In a televised address, Saleh called for new relations with the Saudi-led coalition, which he and the Houthis have been battling for nearly three years (since March 2015).

The Saudi-led coalition - which has fought Saleh and the Houthi rebels since 2015 - last month imposed a total blockade on the impoverished country after a rebel missile was shot down near Riyadh.

"It is not odd or surprising that Saleh turns his back on a partnership he never believed in", the group's political bureau said in a statement. It also called on supporters, including tribal fighters, to "defend themselves, their country, their revolution and their republic".

The Houthis retaliated to the Saleh advance by deploying four tanks on the streets of Sana'a in order to intimidate and terrorize the people and dissuade them from backing the former president. In 2015 he fled to Saudi Arabia, which used its military force in a bid to place him back in power in Yemen.

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"I appeal to the leader Saleh to show more wisdom and maturity. and not to heed incitement calls", Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said in a speech on the group's Al-Masirah TV, adding that his group was ready to sit down for arbitration and abide by any ruling.

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