Friday, January 6, 2012

Yemen's Shiite rebels form political group

SANAA, Yemen, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A new political party supported by the Houthi rebel movement in Yemen aims to free the country from foreign influence, a leader said.
Mohammed Miftah, identified by Emirati news agency The National as an organizer of a Houthi political movement, said Shiite rebels wanted a role in the country's emerging government.
The main platform, he was quoted as saying, is "the independence of the Yemeni political decision from the foreign dominance."
The U.S. State Department said it was considering a visa application from embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh but wouldn't dictate his travel plans. Saleh had suggested he would travel to the United States for medical treatment after he signed a political transition deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Saleh has since said he would stay in Yemen to help his vice president's presidential campaign.
Houthi leaders were included in talks with Saleh's government last year as the embattled president contemplated his future. Saleh spent much of last year in a military hospital recovering from wounds suffered during a June assassination attempt.
Houthi rebels, operating mainly in Yemen's north, have been engaged in sporadic conflict with government forces since 2004.

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