Houthis: Only political solution can end war in Yemen

Tehran, Dec 5, IRNA -- A senior Houthi leader says his group hopes upcoming peace talks in Sweden will end the war in Yemen and lead to an 'inclusive political dialogue'.

Abdul Malik al-Ajri told Al Jazeera that the Houthis are hoping to discuss a range of issues at the talks, including the drafting of a new constitution and the decentralization of power.

'We are hoping these negotiations will help end the war,' al-Ajri said.

'We will be calling for the land, sea and air blockade imposed on Yemen [by Saudi Arabia and the UAE] to be lifted, and for restrictions on goods entering the country to be lifted.'

Saudi Arabia has led a coalition fighting against the Houthis since March 2015, months after they toppled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government.

According to the UN, the planned 'consultations', which could start on either Wednesday or Thursday, will be attended by the main 'parties to the conflict' - even as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who play a leading role in the war, and Iran, which supposedly backs the Houthis, are not invited.

However, all three countries, which have considerable leverage over the opposing sides, have said they support the UN's initiative to end the war, al-Ajri said.

The Special UN Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffith, has been hoping to get both sides to agree to a 'framework' that 'establishes the principles and parameters for UN-led, inclusive Yemeni negotiations to end the war, and restart a political transition'.

'Yemen is a small and simple country. It is culturally homogenous and there are no ethnic or cultural divisions,' al-Ajri said.

'We hope to engage in an inclusive political dialogue that will lead to a new transitional process.”

'Yemen’s need for federalism is so that it can overcome one center of power and the country’s wealth can be distributed fairly among everyone.'

8072**2050

Follow us on Twitter @IrnaEnglish