Saudi-sponsored Yemen conference kicks off in Riyadh. (Photo: AA)
Saudi-sponsored Yemen conference kicks off in Riyadh. (Photo: AA)

Riyadh, 28 Rajab 1436/17 May 2015 (MINA) – A Yemeni dialogue conference kicked off Sunday in Saudi capital Riyadh with the participation of Yemeni warring factions except for the Houthi group.

The conference, chaired by embattled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, is the first of its kind ever since the conflict in Yemen broke out last September, when Houthis overran capital Sanaa and took control of state institutions.

The purpose of the conference is twofold: to depose the current Houthi regime and to implement the outcome of the national dialogue, Abdulaziz Jabari, the head of the committee preparing for the talks, said in his opening speech at the conference, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

Despite objections to holding the conference in Riyadh by the Houthi group and ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Saudi Arabia managed to bring together all of Yemen’s warring factions, including leading members of Saleh’s party, but not the Houthis.

The Houthi group maintains that they’ll participate in a UN-sponsored dialogue in Geneva, whose date has yet to be officially announced.

Earlier Sunday, Yemeni political sources told Anadolu Agency that the conference will tackle the implementation of UN resolutions pertaining to Yemen, the reconstruction of the country’s war-afflicted regions and the means to form a national Yemeni army whose loyalty wouldn’t reside with any individuals or factions.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have since sought to extend their influence southward to other parts of the country.

On March 25, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive military campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen.

Riyadh says its air campaign comes in response to Hadi’s appeals for military intervention against the Houthis.

Hadi fled to Riyadh in March after Houthi forces attacked his residence in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden, from which he had hoped to reinstate his embattled presidency. (T/P001/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)