Yemen’s Foreign Minister, Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi, said that Yemen is heading for a political solution and negotiations towards a federal state will continue anytime and anywhere.
Al Mekhlafi’s remarks were made during a press conference on the sidelines of the retreat of the Arab League’s foreign ministerial council, which was held on Monday in Abu Dhabi.
“The UN’s Special Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh, will arrive to Sana’a to convince rebel groups to sit at the negotiation table, which will in turn begin the process of building trust between all rival parties,” said Al Mekhlafi.
He pointed out that the rebels are no longer making progress on the ground, and they are not welcome in areas under their control as people are ready to take up arms against them.
Al Mekhlafi pointed out that there is no future for disillusioned rebel groups and forces loyal to ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
“There is no future for Saleh because the Yemeni people revolted against him and ousted him, while Al Houthis can form a political party, and lay down their weapons to be a part of the political process,” added Al Mekhlafi.
Al Mekhlafi accused the Houthis of escalating aggression and disrespecting the outcome of the second round of peace talks that ended in Geneva last month.
In addition, Nayef Al-Bakri, Yemen’s Minister of Youth and Sports, confirmed in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, the involvement of the Iranian government in supporting the Houthi militias financially and militarily.
Al-Bakri said that the detained officers, belonging to the Republican Guard and the Houthis, approved this support.
On the other hand, Yemen’s Vice-President and Prime Minister, Khalid Mahfouz Bahah returned to Aden on Monday from Saudi Arabia. The Prime Minister’s return, along with the cabinet members, aims at establishing a permanent government presence in Aden, sources close to the government told Asharq Al-Awsat.