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Houthi leader unveils contacts with ex-Yemen president

Ali al-Bukhaiti said on his Facebook page, shortly after the Doha-based Al-Jazeera television aired an audio tape of a phone conversation between Saleh and a senior Houthi leader

21.01.2015
Houthi leader unveils contacts with ex-Yemen president

SANAA

A senior Houthi leader said Wednesday that he has been on contact with former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh since the Shiite group seized control of the capital Sanaa in September.

"Saleh used to me advice," Ali al-Bukhaiti said on his Facebook page, shortly after the Doha-based Al-Jazeera television aired an audio tape of a phone conversation between Saleh and a senior Houthi leader.

Earlier in the day, Al Jazeera aired the recording of an alleged phone conversation between Saleh and senior Houthi leader Abdel-Wahid Abu Ra'as.

The leaked recording raised some question marks on relations between the former president, who was ousted in 2012, and the Shiite Houthi movement, which controlled Sanaa in September and controlled the presidential palace in Sanaa earlier this week.

Al-Bukhaiti said he believed that some of Saleh's aides had leaked the phone conversation recording to Al Jazeera to give the impression that Saleh stood behind Yemen's recent political developments and also to force countries, such as Saudi Arabia, to negotiate with him.

The political and military rise of the Houthis is said to have caused worries in the Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, which shares borders with Yemen.

Yemen has been suffering turmoil since a popular uprising in 2011 ended Saleh's autocracy in 2012.

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