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Intra-Yemeni dialogue to be held under auspices of Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi king

March 30, 2015, 19:12 UTC+3 BEIRUT

Saudi Arabia is ready for dialogue with all sides of the conflict in Yemen, Sky News Arabia quoted King Salman as saying

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BEIRUT, March 30. /TASS/. Intra-Yemeni dialogue "will be held under the auspices of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf with the aim of restoring the rule of law in the country," King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said in Riyadh on Monday.

Saudi Arabia is ready for dialogue with all sides of the conflict in Yemen, Sky News Arabia quoted King Salman as saying. "The doors of Saudi Arabia are open for all sides in Yemen that want to preserve security and stability in the country," King Salman said.

"All militarized groups will have to lay down their arms to the Yemeni authorities and stop threatening the security of Yemen’s neighbors," the Saudi king noted. "This is a main precondition for launching peace talks," he added.

Overnight to March 26, the Saudi Foreign Ministry planned to hold a conference on intra-Yemeni dialogue in Riyadh. However, Houthi rebels, that seized power in the country, refused to go to Saudi Arabia for talks and continued military actions against forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Later, Houthi rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi proposed to hold talks in Oman’s Muscat or in "any other neutral country."

Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh addressed Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries on Monday, urging them to "stop airstrikes and facilitate political efforts of seeking a way out of the crisis in the country." Saleh called on the sides in the conflict "to sit down at the negotiations table and start dialogue with the aim of protecting Yemen’s sovereignty and countering external interference."

Saleh resigned in 2012 amid mass protests in the country.

Crisis in Yemen

Since August 2014, Yemen has been hit by a severe political and security crisis. In late January, the armed groups of Ansar Allah (Houthi rebels) forced the president and the government to announce resignation.

The rebels later took control of the country’s capital and several northern provinces. They also announced the adoption of the so-called constitutional declaration.

Overnight to March 26, Saudi Arabia launched a military operation in the neighboring country and delivered air strikes at several Houthi positions.

Pro-government forces regained control of the Aden airport last week, while Yemeni President Abd Rabbah Mansur Hadi fled the country to Saudi Arabia.

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