Yemen’s Houthi rebel group has welcomed remarks by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in which he voiced hope for reaching a political solution to the five-year conflict in Yemen.
“Bin Salman’s optimism about stopping the war is positive,” Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the group’s political council, said in statements cited by the Houthi-run Saba news agency.
“Turning the discussion into negotiations requires [Saudis] to show seriousness and to deal in a realistic way without any dictations,” he said.
In an interview with CBS News on Monday, bin Salman said Saudi Arabia was open to all initiatives for a political solution in Yemen.
“First, if Iran stops its support of the Houthi militia, the political solution will be much easier. Today we are open to all initiatives for a political solution in Yemen. We hope this happens today rather than tomorrow,” he said.
Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supporting the country’s pro-Saudi government.
*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara
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