Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh (Photo: Reuters)
Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is close to Shia Houthi rebels in the country, called Friday for a ceasefire and the resumption of UN-brokered dialogue between warring parties.
In a statement, Saleh urged a "simultaneous" halt in military operations in Yemen by a Saudi-led Arab coalition and by the rebels, and for dialogue to take place in the United Arab Emirates.
He called for "an immediate cessation of military operations by the coalition" and "a simultaneous immediate stop" to operations by the Houthis, as well as a halt to looting of public buildings and army camps.
Saleh also proposed a "resumption of dialogue... under the sponsorship of the United Nations, and its transfer to the United Arab Emirates or a UN building" aimed at negotiating a solution to the crisis.
Saleh, who stepped down in 2012 following a year of protests, is accused of allying with the Houthis, relying on the loyalty of many army units that he built during his three-decade rule.
The announcement of his initiative came on the second day of air raids by a Saudi-led Arab coalition in support of embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.