War against Saudi Arabia has yet to begin

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 28, 2015
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Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Sunday that the war against Saudi Arabia has yet to begin, vowing his supporters to continue fight unless the Saudi-led coalition halts air and ground campaigns against his country.

Saleh made these remarks in a meeting with representatives of his General People's Party and Shiite Houthi group who took part in recent UN-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland.

He said Saudi Arabia should be ready for a long war that would began soon.

"Only if the war halts, we will go for a direct talks with Saudis themselves, not their mercenaries," he said, referring to the upcoming UN-sponsored peace talks that set to be held at mid January.

"War has not started yet, and it will begin if Saudis and their followers (Yemeni government) did not choose peace under the auspices of Russia or the United Nations," he added.

Last week, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, special envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen, announced the end of the latest peace talks on Yemen, saying that the parties agreed on framework for the negotiations and will meet again on Jan. 14 of 2016 for a new round of talks.

The consultations involve 24 Yemeni representatives and advisors in view of implementing a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, improving the humanitarian situation and returning to a peaceful and orderly political transition.

Yemen has mired in political gridlock since 2011 when mass protests forced Saleh to step down.

The ongoing crisis in conflict-stricken Yemen is reflection of a regional unrest in the Middle East, especially after the forces of fleeing President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi seized strategic southern city of Aden against Houthi fighters.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition has been backing Hadi's government by fighting the Houthis since March, and later sent in thousands of ground troops from the UAE, Sudan, Qatar and other nationalities to retake five southern provinces from Houthi militias.

The Houthi militants, supported by the Republican Guard Forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, are still holding the capital Sanaa and most of the northern part of the country since September last year.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in Yemen since March in ground battles and airstrikes, half of them civilians.

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