Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has called on all parties involved in the ongoing crisis in the impoverished Arab country to sit down at the negotiating table and work out a solution to the conflict.
In a statement read on Yemen Today satellite television network, Saleh urged all sides, including the Ansarullah fighters of the Houthi movement and the forces loyal to former fugitive President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, “to withdraw from all provinces, especially Aden.”
He also said all warring sides in Yemen should “return to dialogue,” adding that he was ready to reconcile with all Yemeni political factions.
“I call on all parties without exception – even political opponents who have been against me since 2011 – to talk and show forgiveness. I will forgive everybody in the interests of the nation,” Saleh noted.
The 73-year-old former Yemeni leader further proposed that army and security forces come under the control of local authorities in each province.
The statement comes as Saudi military aircraft have carried out fresh airstrikes against Yemen after the Riyadh regime announced the end of the first phase of its unlawful military operation on April 21.
On Saturday morning, Saudi warplanes fired missiles into several neighborhoods of the capital, Sana’a. There were no immediate reports of possible casualties as well as the extent of the damage.
In the latest Saudi strikes, Yemeni presidential palace war targeted in the southern city of Aden on Saturday.
Separately, Saudi fighter jets pounded residential buildings in al-Zaher and Razeh region of Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada, but there is still no word on casualties.
The airborne attacks came only hours after Saudi aircraft bombarded telecommunications towers, commercial districts as well as a hotel in the city of Haraz, located over 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Sana’a.
Local officials said at least two civilians lost their live and ten others sustained wounds in the air raids.
Saudi Arabia launched its air campaign against Yemen on March 26 – without a United Nations mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
However, the Ansarullah movement later said Hadi had lost his legitimacy as president of Yemen after he escaped the capital, Sana’a, to Aden in February.
On March 25, the ex-president fled the southern city of Aden, where he had sought to set up a rival power base, to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, after popular committees, backed by Ansarullah revolutionaries, advanced on Aden.
The Ansarullah fighters took control of the Yemeni capital in September 2014. The revolutionaries said Hadi’s government was incapable of properly running the affairs of the country and containing the growing wave of corruption and terror.