Houthi fighters ride a truck while patrolling a street near the Presidential Palace in Sanaa

Houthi official says Yemen presidential statement acceptable

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(Reuters) – A senior official of Yemen’s Houthi movement said on Thursday that a statement by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi aimed at defusing a political crisis was acceptable because it confirmed the terms of a power-sharing agreement signed in September.

Witnesses said Houthi fighters remained in position outside the presidential palace and Hadi’s private residence, where the head of state actually lives. Hadi in his statement said the Houthis had agreed to remove their men from those places.

But Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi politburo, told Reuters the withdrawals of the gunmen, and the release of Hadi’s office director, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, from Houthi detention could happen in one, two or three days, if the authorities committed to implementing the remaining items.

“The latest agreement is a series of timed measures to implement the peace and partnership accord, which shows that Ansarullah were not planning to undermine the political process,” Bukhaiti told Reuters, referring to an accord signed in September after the Sanaa takeover that brought the Houthi group into the government. Ansarullah is the Houthi group’s official name.

“The agreement is satisfactory because it confirms what is most important in the partnership agreement,” he added.

Hadi’s statement confirmed that the draft constitution was subject to amendments and said that all sides agreed that government and state institutions, schools and universities should rapidly return to work.

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