According to Yemen times reports, Both the Houthis and the General People’s Congress (GPC) rejected calls by Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi on Tuesday for political talks to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Hadi called for the change of location during a meeting Tuesday with tribal leaders from the Yafe tribe of Lahj governorate. Hadi had previously called for the talks to be moved to Taiz or Aden, after declaring Sana’a an “occupied city.”
“It’s impossible for the negotiations to continue in Sana’a and some parties have refused to hold talks in Aden or Taiz. Therefore, the negotiations must be held in Riyadh,” Hadi was reported as saying by sheikhs who attended the meeting.
Mohammad Al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi Political Office in Sana’a, told that the group flatly refuses the move, which he described as “illogical.”
“Hadi’s call to move [the talks] to Riyadh is an attempt to obstruct the negotiations. We all know that Saudi Arabia considers Ansar Allah [the Houthis] a terrorist group, so how can we go there to participate in negotiations?” he asked.
Al-Bukhaiti says that Hadi clearly knew the Houthis would not agree to hold negotiations in Riyadh and that his call was an effort to strengthen support for himself from Saudi Arabia and to show the international community that the Houthis are obstructing the dialogue.
“We participated in the National Dialogue Conference [NDC] in Sana’a and two of our representatives, Ahmed Sharaf Al-Deen and Abdulkarim Jadban, were assassinated. But we didn’t demand that the dialogue be moved,” Al-Bukhaiti said. “Would Hadi and the other parties agree to hold negotiations in Sa’ada or Tehran?”
Al-Bukhaiti said the Houthis were not opposed to moving the talks to a neutral country, if all other parties agree. Earlier in the week, however, he told the Yemen Times that the dialogue “[began] in Sana’a and will end in Sana’a.”
Houthi Political Office member Ali Al-Qahoom contradicted Al-Bukhaiti’s claim that the movement was willing to hold talks outside of Yemen.
The GPC also dubbed Hadi’s call “illogical,” saying it will result in more delays in the negotiations process.
Abdulmalik Al-Fuhaidi, editor-in-chief of the GPC’s mouthpiece, Al-Motamar Net, told the Yemen Times the GPC is against holding the negotiations in any place other than Yemen.
“The negotiations should be held in Yemen and not in any other countries. Hadi was the first to object when the political parties wanted to hold the NDC outside Yemen and now he is calling for this. This raises many questions,” he added.
Hatim Abu Hatim, a leading figure within the Nasserist Party, told the that his party supports holding the talks outside Yemen but not in Saudi Arabia.