Yemen President Warns of No Peace Without Houthis’ Withdrawal

Yemen President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi said the country’s future may be reduced to “endless rounds of conflicts and wars” unless a peace deal requires Houthi rebels to withdraw from the cities they seized and hand over weapons to the government.

Accusing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of encouraging the Houthis to evade surrender, Hadi said he won’t accept any peace agreement that doesn’t also include a power transition deal from the Gulf Cooperation Council and national reconciliation talks, the government-controlled state Saba news agency reported.

Hadi was referring to a road map that emerged after a foreign ministers’ meeting in Oman suggesting that the president transfer his authority to a vice president agreed to by all actors, including the Houthis. Kerry was quoted as saying Saudi Arabia, which has backed Hadi’s government, and the Houthis had agreed on a plan to end the conflict -- without mentioning the government itself.

In a message to the Yemeni people, Hadi vowed that he would not betray “the blood of free martyrs and give Yemen in to Iran and its tools, and we will not allow the sectarians and terrorists to mess up with the present and future of our Yemeni people,” according to Saba.

Hadi, with support from a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, is fighting the Houthis and allied forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The president arrived yesterday in the port city of Mukalla, which was retaken in April from al-Qaeda militants who had controlled it for about a year.

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