Iranian official: Saudi Arabia should not host Yemen talks

Ali Akbar Velayati, adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, says Yemen talks should be held in a neutral country

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

An Iranian official says Saudi Arabia should not be the one hosting talks on Yemen's conflict since it is involved in the crisis with air strikes targeting the country's Houthi militias.

Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said a dialogue on Yemen should be mediated by an international organization and held in a "neutral country."

"We consider Riyadh as a party to the conflict in Yemen and a national dialogue should take place in another country in a neutral location," Velayati, a former foreign minister, said in comments in Beirut.

On Sunday, hundreds of Yemeni politicians and tribal leaders gathered in Saudi Arabia for three days of talks on Yemen's future.

However, the Iran-backed Houthi militias did not attend the conference.

Their absence meant the dialogue was unlikely to end the violence.

Velayati’s statements came as the Saudi-led coalition continued conducting air strikes in the Yemeni cities of Aden and Sanaa Monday following the end of the five-day ceasefire between the coalition and Iranian backed Houthi militias.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters Monday that Washington supported an extension to the “humanitarian pause” of fighting in Yemen.

"We know that the Houthis were engaged in moving some missile-launching capacity to the border and under the rules of engagement, it was always understood that if there were proactive moves by one side or another, then that would be in violation of the ceasefire agreement," Kerry said in his visit to South Korea.


TRTWorld and agencies