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Hadi brands Houthi takeover of Sana’a as “foreign plot” - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Supporters of the Shi’ite Houthi movement wave Yemeni flags as they celebrate in Sana'a, Yemen, on September 23, 2014. (EPA/Wadia Mohammed)

Supporters of the Shi’ite Houthi movement wave Yemeni flags as they celebrate in Sana’a, Yemen, on September 23, 2014. (EPA/Wadia Mohammed)

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi said in a meeting at the presidential palace on Tuesday that the Houthi takeover of Sana’a came as a result of “a foreign and internal plot,” warning that the current crisis could plunge the country into “civil war.”

“There is a foreign and internal plot that aims at impeding the experiment of Yemen in the peaceful transition,” Hadi told members of the cabinet, parliament and Shura Council on Tuesday.

Hadi’s comments came less than 48 hours after the central government and the Shi’ite Houthi rebels signed a UN-brokered deal to defuse the month-long crisis, which has seen the Houthis take control of a number of government buildings in Sana’a after intermittent violence killed over 300 people.

In the month prior to the agreement, supporters of the Houthis occupied a number of protest camps across Sana’a demanding the formation of a more inclusive government and the reversal of a controversial fuel subsidy cut.

Though Hadi did not explicitly accuse any foreign state of masterminding the recent crisis, many observers believe his criticism was directed at Iran.

“Many powers came together, either those who lost their interests in Yemen or those pushed by their personal grievances to take their revenge on their country rather than on individuals, or the opportunists who take advantage of any disaster to attack the country,” the state-owned SABA news agency quoted him as saying.

Hadi vowed to “restore the security and stability in Yemen” despite the challenges and to “work towards implementing the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.”

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Yemeni presidential advisor Dr. Faris Al-Saqqaf said: “My initial assessment of the implementation of the agreement is that it is going well and smoothly and I can say that the ceasefire was observed on the night of the signing of the agreement, and now we are in the process of implementing the remaining terms.”

According to Saqqaf, the primary concern now is to name a new prime minister and appoint two presidential advisors from the ranks of the Houthi Ansar Allah organization and the secessionist movement based in Southern Yemen known as Al-Hirak. After that, a gradual clearing of Houthi sit-ins will be enforced, he maintained.

When asked about Hadi’s allegations of a foreign plot behind the Houthi takeover, the advisor argued that what was happening in Yemen was due to the “former regime’s remnants who resist change and think it does not serve their interests.”

Meanwhile, thousands of Houthi supporters marched through the streets of Sana’a celebrating their successful takeover of state buildings.

Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi saluted his supporters in a speech from his stronghold in the governorate of Saada on the border with Saudi Arabia, pledging to remove “the remaining obstacle,” a reference to the Sunni radical militants of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.