Exiled Yemeni president balks at talks with rebels


Exiled Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi on Sunday said he refuses to participate in peace talks with Iran-backed Houthi rebels, a fresh blow to efforts to end a months-long conflict in the impovreished country.

In a statement carried by Yemen’s official news agency Saba Net, Hadi linked participation in any peace talks to the Houthis’ acceptance of a UN resolution which demands that the rebels withdraw from areas under their control in Yemen and hand over their weapons to state institutions.

“There will be no participation in any meeting until the coup-plotting militia [Houthis] announces an unconditional acceptance of the international resolution 2216,” a presidential statement said.

There was no comment from the Houthis, who control several parts of Yemen, including the capital Sana’a.

The move comes amid UN efforts to bring representatives from Hadi’s Saudi-backed government and the rebels to negotiate in Oman.

Previous attempts to end Yemen’s war have failed amid worsening humanitarian conditions in the country.

In March, Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni partners started an air campaign in Yemen after the mostly Shiite rebels advanced on the southern city of Aden, forcing Hadi to flee the country.

Hadi, a Sunni, is living in Saudi Arabia.