Former Yemen rebel ally Saleh calls for talks with Saudi Arabia

Huthi rebel fighters walk in the Yemeni capital Sanaa

A statement from Saleh's party called for its loyal armed tribes and supporters to fight against Houthis.

"I call on our brothers in neighbouring countries.to stop their aggression and lift the blockade. and we will turn the page", Saleh said. In a televised interview, Salah also called for resuming relations with Saudi Arabia, if the Saudi-led coalition lifts its blockade of Yemeni ports and air facilities.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said at least 80 people have been killed in this week's clashes between forces loyal to Saleh and Houthis.

Yemen's former President Ali Abdallah Saleh spoke on Saturday in a live TV address to slam the Houthi militia amid fierce battles between Saleh loyalists and the Iran-backed militia in the capital Sanaa.

"We will deal with them in a positive way and what happened to Yemen is enough", he added.

The Saudis want to restore the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was forced into retreat and then exile by the fighting.

"Our country is under aggression and the Houthis are the cause of this aggression due to their practices", he said.

Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses supporters in the capital Sanaa
Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses supporters in the capital Sanaa

"The uprising in Yemen's capital Sanaa is the sign of an awakening of the nightmare", UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.

"It is happening in coordination with it", referring to the Saudi-led coalition".

He urged the "turning a new page with all the political sides. and to form a broad national coalition that will lay the foundations for a new era and unify everyone against the coup militia".

For coalition, former president betrayed Arabs by joining Huthi, a militia that emerged at end of last century to improve living conditions of Zaydí minority (a branch of Shi'a Islam that follows one-third of Yemenis) and that Saudi Arabia considers an Inst Rumeno of his rival Iran. Saleh has accused the Houthis of seeking to monopolise power and the rebels have accused the strongman of treason over his suspected contacts with Saudi Arabia.

The Houthi group leader, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, had earlier appealed to Mr Saleh to avoid any escalation, saying that the crisis would only serve Yemen's enemies.

He told Yemenis all across the country that if they support him, "to defend the nation, the republic and the revolution".

The conflict and a blockade by the coalition has also left more than 20 million people in need of humanitarian aid, created the world's largest food security emergency, and led to a cholera outbreak that is thought to have killed 2,211 people since April.

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