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Yemen seeks Iraqi clarification on Houthi visit

Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi [File photo]
Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi [File photo]

The Yemeni government yesterday called on Iraq to clarify its official stance regarding a recent visit by a Houthi delegation to Baghdad.

A Houthi delegation visited Baghdad last week and met a number of Iraqi officials.

Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdel Salam said that Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi and Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari have recognised a “governing council” that was recently unveiled by the Houthis and their main ally, the General People’s Congress (GPC) party of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Yemeni government said it considers the visit “a violation of UN Security Council resolution 2216” and “a defiance of the will of the Yemeni people and Arab and international support for legitimacy and ending the coup”.

A cabinet source said the vague Iraqi position regarding the Houthi visit “requires an urgent clarification”, according to the official SABA news agency.

Yemen has been ravaged by civil war since late 2014, when Houthi rebels overran capital Sanaa and forced the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to flee to Riyadh.

The conflict escalated last year when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive military campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and restoring Hadi’s government.

Last month, UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait between the Yemeni government and the Houthis broke down without having achieved any tangible breakthroughs.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than three million Yemenis have been displaced by the ongoing conflict in the Arab country.

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