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Houthi officials did not visit Riyadh ‘because Saudi is not ready for peace’

Head of the Supreme Political Council Saleh Ali al-Sammad delivers a speech as Houthis and supporters of ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh gather to protest the Saudi-led operations during a rally on the second anniversary of the Operation Decisive Storm at al-Sabin Square in Sanaa, Yemen on March 26, 2017. ( Mohammed Hamoud - Anadolu Agency )
Head of the Supreme Political Council Saleh Ali al-Sammad delivers a speech as Houthis and supporters of ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh gather to protest the Saudi-led operations during a rally on the second anniversary of the Operation Decisive Storm at al-Sabin Square in Sanaa, Yemen on March 26, 2017. ( Mohammed Hamoud - Anadolu Agency )

A senior Houthi official has denied news reports that officials from the group have visited Saudi Arabia to discuss a deal to end the three-year-old war in Yemen, Thenewkhaliji.org reported on Friday.

“There are news reports that Mohamed Abdul Salam is now in Saudi Arabia,” said Saleh Al-Sammad. “They want to extort us. We know that Saudi Arabia is not ready for peace. It does not own its decision, otherwise we would have talked with it.”

According to the Yemeni news agency Saba, the Head of the Houthis’ Supreme Political Council added, “We will never bargain the dignity of the Yemenis and their sacrifices. We will only accept what maintains the dignity and sacrifices of the Yemenis, who support us.”

Sources: Yemen’s Houthis and Saudi Arabia in secret talks to end war

The Saudis, he continued, say they want peace. “We are ready for peace, but the peace of the brave.” He pointed out that the Houthis have details of citizens from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Sudan who have been killed in the war, as well as Blackwater mercenaries and fighters from “many other” countries.

Al-Sammad’s comments came after a Reuters report that there had been secret talks between Mohammed Abdul Salam and Saudi officials in Oman as part of the effort to end the conflict.

The agency added that a diplomat has claimed that there are talks between the Saudis and the Houthis without a representative of the Yemeni government present, even though it is recognised by the international community. The source noted that there is a desire by the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition to reach a comprehensive deal.

Read: 675 women killed by Houthis in four years, Yemen minister says

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