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April 8, 2015

Iran, Turkey agree bloodshed must end in Yemen

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April 8, 2015


TEHRAN/RIYADH/ADEN/GENEVA: Turkey and Iran agreed on the need for a political solution to Yemen’s war, which has raised tensions between them, Iran’s president said on Tuesday after talks with his visiting Turkish counterpart.
The two countries are at odds over Yemen. Ankara has accused Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels there and, in turn, being charged with fuelling tensions in the region. “We talked about Iraq, Syria, Palestine... We had a long discussion about Yemen. We both think war and bloodshed must stop in this area immediately and a complete ceasefire must be established and the strikes must stop” in Yemen, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani said during a joint press conference broadcast by the state television.
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan made no remarks about Yemen, but talked at length about bilateral relations with Iran.Iran has condemned air strikes by an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and supported by Turkey. Rouhani said he hoped the two countries, “with the help of other countries in the region, help there to be peace, stability, a broader government and dialogue” between Yemenis. “We agree on the fact that instability, insecurity and war must cease throughout the region,” he said.
Erdogan denounced at the end of March what he called Iran’s will for “domination” in Yemen, calling on Tehran to “withdraw all its forces from Yemen, Syria and Iraq.”Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif reacted by accusing Ankara of fuelling instability in the Middle East.Iranian newspapers and conservatives for their part denounced Erdogan´s “insult” and called for his visit to be cancelled.
Turkey and Iran are also opposed on Syria, with Tehran the main regional ally of President Bashar al-Assad and Ankara supporting the rebellion. Several ministers are accompanying Erdogan.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Council of ministers has said that the Saudi-led operation in Yemen has the support of Yemenis in the Kingdom and the

international community because it seeks to restore the legitimate government and bring peace and stability to that war-torn nation.
The weekly meeting was chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. It noted the heroic efforts of the coalition forces in neutralizing the military capacity of the Houthi militants, said Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Toraifi.
Saudi Arabia appreciates the support of the Yemeni community for Operation Decisive Storm. “The ministers said the coalition does not seek a war but wants to protect the Yemeni people”. This is why the operation has been hailed by Arab and Islamic nations, and the wide international community, said Al-Toraifi.
Meanwhile, loyalist forces backed by Saudi-led naval shelling thwarted a new rebel assault in Yemen’s main southern city early Tuesday as medics and officials reported 18 dead in fighting across the south.
Militia loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi battled rebels attempting to advance on a port in the city’s Mualla district, witnesses said.Four loyalist militiamen were killed and 12 wounded, a medic at a military hospital told AFP. Six Houthi rebels were killed, an army source said.
Residents said that the loyalists had pushed the rebels further from the port, as warships of the Saudi-led coalition shelled rebel positions across Aden.
In Abyan province further east, armed tribesmen loyal to Hadi killed eight rebels in an attack on their convoy, provincial governor El-Khedr al-Saeedi said. He said that loyalist tribes and militia in Abyan and neighbouring Lahj province were sending fighters to Aden to back Hadi´s forces in the city.
During the night, Saudi-led warplanes carried out fresh strikes on the rebel-held Al-Anad air base in Lahj province, pro-Hadi General Muthanna Jawas said.
Fighting in Yemen over the past few weeks has killed more than 540 people and wounded 1,700 as the country sinks deeper into a multi-sided conflict, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday.
“More than 540 people have been killed and some 1,700 others wounded by the violence in Yemen since 19 March,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told journalists, specifying that the toll was up to April 6.
The Unicef meanwhile said at least 74 children have been confirmed killed and 44 wounded since March 26, but added that it believed the toll to be far higher. More than 100,000 people have been displaced by the violence, Unicef said.
Meanwhile, an initial ICRC flight transporting medical personnel has reached the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the organisation said Tuesday, as fighting in the Arabian Peninsula country led to warnings of a humanitarian crisis.
“First ICRC flight reached Sanaa. More to come by air and sea when clearances received to bring urgently needed medical supplies,” Dominik Stillhart, director of operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross, posted on his Twitter account.




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