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Yemeni separatists ‘ready’ for Saudi-brokered peace talks after clashes with pro-govt forces

Yemeni separatists ‘ready’ for Saudi-brokered peace talks after clashes with pro-govt forces

The head of Yemen’s separatist movement has said he is ready to take part in Saudi-brokered peace talks. The statement comes after clashes with pro-government forces reportedly killed dozens in the second city, Aden.

Southern Transitional Council (STC) leader Aidarus al-Zubaidi also said late on Sunday that he was committed to a ceasefire in Aden, where the separatists have seized the presidential palace and army camps, AFP reported.

Zubaidi said last week’s violence had been “provoked” by forces loyal to Riyadh-based Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The fighting pitted loyalist forces against the UAE-trained Security Belt Force, dominated by fighters who back the STC, which seeks independence for south Yemen. For the past five years both camps, backed by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have been engaged in a war against Houthi rebels.