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Houthi official calls for 12-country arbitration with Saudi

Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi head of the Revolutionary Committees in Yemen [Wikipedia]
Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi (C) head of the Revolutionary Committees in Yemen, 6 June 2017 [Wikipedia]

Member of the Supreme Political Council, Mohammed Al-Houthi, has extended a new arbitration initiative to the Saudi-led coalition, urging it to "accept the arbitration of 12 countries".

In a Twitter post yesterday, Al-Houthi reiterated the need to respond to the UN Secretary-General's call for a ceasefire, especially in a bid to focus on combatting the coronavirus pandemic. He mentioned the "three references" which are conditions stipulated by the Saudi-backed, UN-recognised Yemeni government and laid down his own conditions for a ceasefire.

"As the world is facing the corona pandemic, [the coalition countries and their mercenaries] must abandon their conditions and what they called references and others," he said. The "three references" include the 2011 Gulf initiative, outcomes of the national dialogue and certain UN resolutions, such as Resolution 2216.

However, Al-Houthi stressed the importance of ending the war and lifting the coalition-imposed blockade first, saying "Our response to the ceasefire call does not mean that we accept what has been rejected from the beginning."

He also proposed arbitration involving several countries, suggesting 12 countries from "Arab, Islamic and Asian quartets" in addition to the UN "to judge between Yemen and the aggression countries".

READ: Houthi government in Sanaa warns that masks airdropped by Saudis are infected with Covid-19

Footage has also emerged, which was also posted on his account, of Al-Houthi driving an armoured vehicle believed to have been seized from Saudi-backed forces during recent engagements.

Al-Houthi's comments followed a member of the Houthi-government's National Delegation, Abdulmalik Al-Ajri, who on Tuesday said it was neither correct nor logical to meet with the Saudis as peacemakers, whilst they are behind the on-going aggression in the country.

"Here it [Saudi Arabia] invited for dialogue, while it is not in the position to call for it," Al-Ajri added, in reference to reports that the Saudis extended an invitation for peace talks in Riyadh following recent escalations in the conflict, including retaliatory ballistic missile attacks in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom responded with air raids over the capital Sanaa, including an attack on a horse stable at a military academy killing a horse trainer and 70 purebred Arabian horses.

READ: Saudi used cluster bombs in Yemen horse stable attack

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