CAIRO: Cairo will host a meeting of the General People Congress party to retain its chairman, former Yemeni President Ali Abullah Salah, a senior member within the party told London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Tuesday.
“Saleh announced officially that he became an ally of the Houthi Shiite rebels,” said Ahmed Ben Daghr, the party’s deputy chairman. “Our party for resolving the Yemeni crisis depends on the gulf countries’ initiative, which he opposes right now,” he added.
The Gulf initiative stipulates that the Saudi-allied President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi be reinstated to office after his ouster from Sanaa by the Houthis, and that he compose a new government include a quota of seats for opposition parties, as well as conduct new presidential elections in 60 days.
Houthi rebels, backed by Saudi Arabia’s rival Iran and military troops loyal to Saleh, have controlled territories in Northern Yemen since September 2014. They took over the capital Sanaa in January, and forced Hadi to resign and placed him under house arrest.
Hadi later escaped to his home region of Aden, where he declared it was the new capital, and announced he was still the president. A Saudi-led military campaign has been underway for seven weeks against the Houthis with the participation of Egypt, Jordan and all gulf countries except Oman.
Some experts have claimed Cairo’s role has been instrumental in solving the Yemeni crisis. Three weeks ago, Cairo hosted a meeting between Yemeni officials and different international representatives who eventually reached an agreement of 11 segments; seven of them were political and the rest were relevant to military arrangements to solve the crisis.