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Houthis want coalition strikes halted before joining Geneva meet

May 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Yemen’s Houthi group yesterday made its participation in a UN-sponsored conference on Yemen in Geneva later this month conditional on the halt of an ongoing air offensive launched by a Saudi-led coalition against its positions.

In a televised address, Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdel-Salam called for an immediate suspension of what he called the “Saudi aggression” on Yemen.

He said this was his group’s condition for participating in the conference that will seek to find a peaceful settlement for the crisis in Yemen.

“We will defend our dignity by responding to the Saudi enemy at the appropriate time and place,” Abdel-Salam said.

The United Nations had earlier proposed holding a conference on the Yemeni crisis in Geneva on May 28 and 29.

Yemen has been pounded by airstrikes since 25 March by a Saudi-led coalition established to fight the Shia Houthis.

Saudi Arabia says it launched its campaign in response to appeals by Yemen’s embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi for help against the Houthis who overran the capital Sanaa late last year.