Yemeni president offers unity government to restive factions

Government 'could be formed from all influential political forces represented in the parliament' says Saleh.

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SANA'A // Yemen's president yesterday offered to form a unity government with opposition groups after holding a national dialogue, and announced the release of imprisoned Houthi rebels and southern separatists. "We call upon all political parties and organisations and all citizens ...to engage in a responsible national dialogue within the framework of the constitutional institutions," Ali Abdullah Saleh said in a televised speech last night on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the reunification of North and South Yemen.

"In light of the results of the dialogue, a government could be formed from all influential political forces represented in the parliament," Mr Saleh said Southerners have long complained of being marginalised, particularly since they lost the 1994 civil war. Mr Saleh said the Yemeni Socialist Party, which is seeking independence for South Yemen, would be a "main partner in achieving the unity".

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