Ex-president Saleh offers ‘all Yemen’s facilities’ to Russia

By Brian Whitaker | ( al-Bab.com) | – –

In a TV interview today, Yemen’s ex-president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, appeared to invite Russian military intervention in the country’s conflict. He talked of reactivating old Yemeni agreements with the Soviet Union and offfered “all the facilities” of Yemen’s bases, ports and airports to Russia.

Saleh seemed to be advocating something similar to what happened in Syria, where Russia and Iran joined the conflict on the Assad regime’s side under the guise of fighting terrorism. A video of the interview is here, with a transcript in Arabic here.

Saleh, who was ousted from the presidency in 2012, is allied to the Houthis who currently control the Yemeni capital and large parts of the country, especially in the north. For more than a year Saudi-led forces, who back Saleh’s exiled successor, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, have been bombing Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. Meanwhile the Houthis, who have some Iranian backing, have attacked Saudi territory in the border area.

Talks in Kuwait aimed at ending the war recently collapsed. Separately from the Houthi-Saleh-Hadi conflict there are frequent attacks in Yemen by Islamist militants.

In the Russian TV interview, Saleh described Russia as “the closest kin to us”, adding that it has “a positive attitude” in the UN Security Council.

Saleh continued:

“We extend our hands to Russia. We have agreements with the Russian Federation which were with the Soviet Union. The legitimate heir to the Soviet Union is the Russian Federation, we are ready to activate these treaties and agreements that were between us and the Soviet Union.

“We agree on a principle, which is the struggle against terrorism … We extend our hands and offer all the facililties, 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.”

Via al-Bab.com

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence


Related video added by Juan Cole:

Wochit News: “Yemen’s Ex-president Could Ally With Russia To ‘Fight Terrorism'”

2 Responses

  1. The sheer cheek Saleh shows is incredible. Here’s a man whose North Yemeni government opposed Soviet-allied South Yemen (the ones who actually had these stated agreements). Whose government was supplied by Saudi Arabia in their 1972 civil war! He warred against the Houthis until he was removed from power and suddenly became their “friend”.

    While the Houthis might have decent claims over areas where they’re popular, they’ve made a real back-stabber of an ally. Saleh’s ambition will inevitable drive him to reconquer all of Yemen. That would be a disaster; his forces have neither the resources nor the support to dream of doing that. Let’s hope the Houthis are smart enough not to listen.

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