Turkey freezes assets of former Yemeni President Saleh

Turkey freezes assets of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh in line with UN Security Council decision

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Archive photo shows former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh at a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, April 8, 2011.

The Turkish government announced on Thursday that it has frozen the assests of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh in line with a decision made by the United Nations Security Council.

All of Saleh's assets in Turkish banks and other financial institutions were frozen, the government said in its Official Gazette.

Investigators appointed by the UN have told the Security Council that they suspect Saleh of amassing as much as 60 billion dollars, equivalent to Yemen's annual GDP during his long rule.

Archive photo shows former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, centre, with former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, right, and former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, left, pose during a group picture, in Sirte, Libya, October 10, 2010. (AP Archive)

Most of this wealth was believed to have been transferred abroad under false names or the names of others holding the assets on his behalf, the investigators have said.

The assets are in the form of property, cash, shares, gold and other valuable commodities, and are believed to spread across at least 20 countries.

Saleh, who is head of Yemen's largest party - the General People's Congress - enjoys the loyalty of sections of the armed forces despite having stepped down from office nearly four years ago after months of protests.

Archive photo shows Houthis holding their weapons during clashes in near the presidential palace in Sanaa, Yemen, January 19, 2015. (AP Archive)

Investigators have said that Saleh is also suspected of colluding in a takeover by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in September 2014 when the group overran the Yemeni capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.

Since then, war in Yemen has killed more than 6,400 people, forcing almost 2.8 million others to flee their homes. 

United Nations announced that peace talks aimed at ending the conflict will begin in Kuwait on Thursday.

The talks were scheduled to start in Kuwait on Monday, but representatives of the Houthi group and Saleh did not turn up.


TRTWorld and agencies