By Khaled Ibrahim
Yemen has declined to host the Arab League’s annual summit next March, citing the country’s ongoing conflict, the Cairo-based league announced Sunday.
In a statement, league spokesman Mohamed Afifi said Yemen’s Arab League delegate had delivered a verbal message to Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul-Gheit from Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul-Malik Mekhlafi regarding the latest developments in the war-torn country.
"The delegate [told Abul-Gheit] that it would be difficult for Yemen to host the summit under the current circumstances," he said.
In the event Yemen does not host the summit, which has been slated for March of next year, the event will be hosted by Jordan.
Yemen has been racked by chaos since late 2014, when Shia Houthi militiamen overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.
The conflict escalated when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive military campaign in Yemen last year aimed at reversing Houthi gains and restoring Hadi’s embattled government.