Iran backs Yemen talks

Iran’s foreign minister hails support for Yemen talks, opposes non-Yemen parties at table

Photo by: MEHR
Photo by: MEHR

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Iran has declared support for talks to end the fighting between Houthi militants and the country’s recognised government, but has opposed foreign involvement in the conflict.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday Iran supports the peace talks but opposes to foreign interference in the negotiations.

"The Islamic Republic [of Iran] will support initiatives that bring all Yemeni groups to the negotiating table," Zarif said as he met the United Nations’ special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in Tehran.

He said only Yemenis should be present at the negotiation table. No delegations “from any other country should join the dialogue,” Fars news agency quoted him as saying.

Zarif's statemens come as European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned on May 6 that Yemen conflict opens door to Al Qaeda.

A conference titled “Save Yemen” concluded its sessions on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia’s capital, and released The Riyadh Declaration.

The declaration stressed that corruption and mismanagement during the rule of deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh led to deterioration of the situation in the country, and Iran contributed to the instability in country.

Later on Thursday, Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdel-Salam called for an immediate suspension of air strikes.

"We will defend our dignity by responding to the Saudi enemy at the appropriate time and place," Abdel-Salam said.

The United Nations had earlier proposed holding peace conference in Geneva on May 28.

The talks are hoped to halt the conflict, which has already claimed hundreds of lives.

UN reports show that more than 1,800 people have been killed and 7,330 injured since March 26, when the Saudi-led coalition began air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

TRTWorld and agencies