Ex-Yemeni president Saleh offers military bases to Russia

ANADOLU AGENCY
SANA'A
Published 22.08.2016 12:49

Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh has offered to allow Russia to use the country's military bases with a view to fighting 'terrorism'.

Speaking in an interview with Russia-24 TV channel Sunday, Saleh described Russia as "the closest kin to us".

"We extend our hands to Russia. We have agreements with the Russian Federation which were with the Soviet Union… we are ready to activate these treaties and agreements that were between us and the Soviet Union," Saleh said.

"We agree on a principle, which is the struggle against terrorism... We extend our hands and offer all the facilities, and the conventions and treaties. We offer them in our bases, in our airports and in our ports -- ready to provide all facilities to the Russian Federation," he said.

Saleh is a close ally of the Shiite Houthi group, which overran capital Sanaa and other provinces in late 2014 and forced President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia.

In March last year, Saudi Arabia and Arab allies launched a massive military campaign in the country aimed at reversing Houthi gains and restoring Hadi's embattled government.

Saleh does not hold any official post in Yemen, but officials from his General People's Congress party are members of a governing council that runs war-torn Yemen along with the Houthis.

In 2015, Russia abstained from a UN Security Council resolution which imposed an arms embargo on the Houthi group.

Moscow has also aborted the issuing of a UN statement condemning a move by the Houthis and Saleh to form a governing council to run Yemen.

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