Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said late Saturday his country does not recognise a Houthi governing council in war-torn Yemen.
Al-Jaafari met with his Yemeni counterpart Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York for talks on bilateral relations between the two countries.
During the talks, al-Jaafari reiterated Iraq’s rejection of foreign interference in Yemen’s affairs, according to the official Saba news agency.
The Iraqi government “does not recognize the political council formed by the Houthis and [former president Ali Abdullah] Saleh” to run Yemen’s affairs, Saba quoted al-Jaafari as saying.
Last month, a delegation from Yemen’s Shia Houthi group arrived in the Iraqi capital Baghdad for talks with Iraqi officials regarding the ongoing conflict in the war-torn country.
According to Yemeni sources, the visit was part of ongoing efforts by the Houthis to win recognition for a “governing council” that was recently unveiled by the Shia group and its main ally, the General People’s Congress (GPC) party of former president Saleh.
In response, the Yemeni government called on Iraqi authorities to clarify its official stance regarding the Houthi visit.
Yemen has been ravaged by civil war since late 2014, when Houthi rebels overran capital Sanaa and forced the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour 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.