Exclusive: Yemen council head hails peace push, wants Saudis to ‘feel pain’

Saleh al-Sammad, who heads the Houthi-led Supreme Political Council, speaks during an interview with Reuters in SanaaBy Mohammed Ghobari SANAA (Reuters) – The head of a Houthi-backed ruling council pledged readiness on Monday to resume negotiations on ending Yemen's war but reserved the right to resist attacks by a Saudi-backed exiled government seeking to unseat it. "We have not closed the door for peace or the door to negotiations," Saleh al-Sammad, an official of the dominant Iranian-allied Houthi movement, told Reuters in an interview. "I believe there are serious international intentions to reach peace and we will do our best to take any chance to stop the aggression and lift the suffering from our Yemeni people." U.N.-sponsored talks to try to end 18 months of fighting collapsed in failure this month and the Houthi movement and allied forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh resumed shelling attacks into Saudi Arabia, Yemen's large northern neighbor.

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