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Al-Mekhlafi Describes Saleh-Houthi Partnership as ‘Snake Passion’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Yemeni foreign minister Abdulmalik Al Mekhlafi. Reuters

Cairo- Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul-Malek al-Mekhlafi has said that the latest clashes between militias of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and head of Ansar Allah group Abdul Malik al-Houthi in Sana’a “are a natural outcome of an illegal marriage or a so-called passion of the snakes.”

In comments reported by the German news agency, al-Mekhlafi said that Houthis are an armed sectarian militia backed by Iran while Saleh wanted to use those militants to harvest alone the profits of the coup.

“But, what he sought after was a disappointment,” he said.

Last week, a war of words between the two previous allies exploded into a military confrontation when militants believed to be linked to Saleh’s Republican Guards fired at a Houthi military position in the Joulat al-Misbaha where the two groups exchanged fire in the presence of a high security deployment. Reports said the clashes erupted after Houthi fighters tried to set up a security checkpoint near the home of Saleh in Sana’a.

Commenting on the latest clashes, the Yemeni foreign minister said the current lull was nothing but “calm before the storm.”

He said: “We never aimed to reach deals with Saleh, and I don’t believe that any Arab state had made any effort in this regard … There is no need to start a deal with Saleh, who will not have any place in the future of Yemen.”

Al-Mekhalfi also said Saleh’s “illusions” to remain in power have driven the country into a catastrophe.

He said those illusions were currently pushing the man to clash with Houthis and to present himself as a partner in any future peace deal.

The minister pointed to the possibility that Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) party could actually constitute the “suitable partner for us,” adding that “several party figures are now fed up with the current violations and crimes.”